Tag Archives: Mobile Trends

Facebook lets you add any post to albums, not just photos

 Facebook is revamping its photo album feature with the ability to add videos, check-ins, text posts to albums, follow friends’ albums so you’re notified when they’re updated, and display “featured” albums on your profile to highlight your favorite collections. Facebook is also simplifying the ability to add contributors to a collaborative album, which was an… Read More
Microsoft Office 2010
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Skype’s Snapchat-inspired makeover puts the camera a swipe away, adds stories

 Microsoft today is launching a completely revamped version of its Skype application, with a new set of features that draw obvious inspiration from messaging rivals, like Messenger and Snapchat. Yes, that means Skype now has its own Stories-like feature, which it’s calling Highlights, as well as a redesign that puts the camera only a swipe away from your chats, among other things. The… Read More
Microsoft Office 2010
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Steve Wozniak tells us what he wants to be remembered for

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has arguably been called “The inventor of the personal computer.” But even if you believe that the title belongs to one of the pioneers before him — you can’t deny Wozniak’s contribution to modern-day computers. With all of that success, you would think that Woz would want that achievement to be engraved on his tombstone. Instead, he wants to be remembered for the quality of his work, and not his achievements. Following is a transcript of this video.

“Happiness = smiles – frowns,” would be the best thing on my tombstone.

I think that what I did, I didn’t know it necessarily at the time, is we all don’t necessarily know. It made a huge impact on the world was the Apple II computer and some early, unusual approaches. Everything was so out of the book and so different than any engineering book, any book on computers could have ever said before. And I go back and I’m proud of that, I don’t even understand my designs anymore. I look at them and I say, “How did that even come out of my own mind?”

Everybody would tell you, “No.” Everybody would say, “No.” Remember, when we started Apple, the amount of memory that could hold a song cost a million dollars. Okay, how far in the future can you risk seeing? You know, we knew about Moore’s Law, we knew that computers were important, they could help people. The fact that they could do everything in your life was such a foresight in science fiction thought. Steve Jobs may have had some of that — at the start. We didn’t ever talk about it, really. We just talked about what we could build today, short-term, you know, etc.

But, going back to legacy — I don’t want to be known for inventing the first personal computer and you know, bringing personal computers into our life. I want other engineers to look at my work and say, “Wow he did some outstanding engineering, soldering wires the right way, writing code a certain way.”

Everything you do for work, you should have a lot of fun in your life. That when you die, your life is based on happiness. Not your wealth, not your possessions, not your career, not how you succeeded. It should be based on how much you smiled in your life. “Happiness = smiles – frowns” would be the best thing on my tombstone.

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Microsoft Office 2010
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I tried the 'Mercedes Benz of toilets' that comes with a remote control and costs $10,200

toto toilet Neorest 750H

Heated seats, doors that open automatically, and an energy-saving system — these are features we’ve come to expect from luxury cars. But Japan’s biggest toilet maker has brought these high-tech features and more to its premiere line of commodes.

Founded 100 years ago, Toto makes toilets — most of which include remote-controlled bidet spouts — that have become mainstays in Asian households, restaurants, and public buildings. The company has struggled to crack the North American market.

Earlier this year, Toto opened a showroom in San Francisco to give urban-dwellers the chance to experience Japanese-style toilets. On a recent visit, I used the company’s most expensive and luxurious toilet. Here’s what it was like.

SEE ALSO: Alarming photos of the uninhabited island that’s home to 37 million pieces of trash

This is the Neorest 750H — the porcelain throne to rule all thrones.

As a company spokesperson walks me through the showroom, she describes the Neorest 750H — not the sexiest name — as the “Mercedes Benz of toilets.” It costs $10,200.

She shows me to a bathroom where the Neorest 750H, the company’s most expensive toilet, sits. I ask if visitors can actually use it and she tells me “it’s encouraged.”

I move closer to the toilet and the lid opens for me.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The story behind the random century-old barn on Apple's futuristic $5 billion campus (AAPL)

Apple Park

Tucked away in a corner of Apple Park, the company’s new futuristic, custom-designed $5 billion campus in Cupertino, California, is a particularly low-tech building. It stands out in a campus of gleaming glass and concrete structures where even the door handles are custom designed.

So why did Apple recently construct an early-20th century barn in the shadow of its massive new “spaceship” campus? Here’s a good picture from a recent drone flyover video filmed by Matthew Roberts

Apple Barn

It turns out, the historic “Glendenning Barn” was on the land first, and after a former Cupertino mayor asked Apple CEO Tim Cook what the company planned to do with the barn in the early stages of construction, Apple carefully took it apart and put it back together, just the way it was constructed before. 

The Glendenning barn, built in 1916, had previously survived several changes of ownership, as the land around it transformed from farmland owned by the Glendenning family, to orchards, to an HP office park, and now, to Apple’s new headquarters. Apple Barn

The barn wasn’t specifically protected by local law, but the Cupertino Historical Society tried to save it, and it was beloved by the site’s previous owners, HP, which used it as a gathering place for beer bashes and picnics. “I’m anxious to one day see it again,” Ed Miller, a former HP manager, told the Mercury News

Apple will store sports equipment and landscaping supplies in the barn. But its value to Apple is more as a little piece of history that shows how Silicon Valley has changed.

An environmental impact report commissioned by Apple in 2013 gives the full backstory of the land that Apple’s “spaceship” campus now sits on: 

The project site was occupied by Robert and Margaret Howie Glendenning beginning in the 1850s. The Glendennings, originally from Scotland, were one of the first European-Americans to homestead in Cupertino. In 1851, the couple began farming 160 acres of land, living initially in a tent on the land. After building a house and planting crops, the owners of the Alviso Land Grant laid claim to the property, and the Glendennings were compelled to purchase the land at $30 an acre. Margaret Glendenning finished the land payments upon the death of her husband in 1868. 

By 1884, when Robert and Margaret’s children had come of legal age, the Glendenning property was divided among the family. Margaret Howie lived on the southern half of the property and the northern half was divided amongst the six Glendenning children: Mary, Margaret C. (Caroline), Ellen (Ella), Joe, Jim, and George. In 1888, approximately 60 acres of the property contained orchards and the remaining portion was utilized for grain and hay production. Margaret Howie had a house built on her property in 1889, where she lived with her daughters, Margaret C. Burrell and Ellen Glendenning.

In 1914, Margaret Burrell obtained her mother’s parcel and her daughter and son-in-law, Grace and John Leonard, purchased the land. Leonard converted 48 acres of the property from dry-farming (hay and grain production) to irrigated orchards. It is thought that John Leonard built the Glendenning Barn around this time. The Leonards established a dehydrating and packing business on the property. 

In 1964, Varian Associates purchased the Glendenning property from John Leonard and his son, Burrel. The Glendenning parcel was one of several family properties, including the Lester, Craft, and Orlando families, to be purchased by Varian. The Varian lands were pooled into the VALLCO land corporation, the name of which was derived from the first names of the principal parties involved in the sale. The Glendenning-Leonard acreages were the key parcels to be incorporated into VALLCO Park and became the site of the Varian building, the first constructed in the park. VALLCO continued minimal farming operations into the 1970s, but a master plan and associated development phased out farming.

Apple BarnVALLCO sold 46 acres to Hewlett-Packard in 1968, followed by another 50 acres in 1971. Aerial photographs from the 1980s show the barn, pump house, and windmill tower, but the Glendenning house built for Margaret Howie Glendenning, Margaret Burrell, and Ellen Glendenning was demolished in the early 1970s. The Hewlett-Packard and Ridgeview campuses were constructed in phases from the mid-1960s to late 1980s. Hewlett-Packard sold the 98-acre office park in November 2010 to Apple as part of its plan to consolidate employees at its Palo Alto campus. The property is just north of a 50-acre site Apple bought in 2006 and east of the main Apple campus. The properties purchased by Apple in 2006 and 2010 are part of the project site.

Check out the most recent Apple Park drone flyover video below: 

SEE ALSO: Apple’s latest announcement hints that we could be in for an action-packed event next week

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SoundCloud has launched an Xbox app that you can control with AI assistant Cortana

Alex Ljung SoundCloud

SoundCloud has launched its first games console app — on Microsoft’s Xbox One.

The music streaming service announced the new app in a blog post on Wednesday, saying that it will allow gamers to listen to music as they play.

“Whether you’re playing a first person shooter, the newest racing game, or your favorite sports title, you can beat your opponents with your music tastes by having SoundCloud on-hand as your perfect gaming partner,” said SoundCloud.

The SoundCloud Xbox app is available to download from the Xbox App Store for both normal and premium SoundCloud users.

One nifty feature on the SoundCloud Xbox app is that it allows gamers to skip and pause music by talking to Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, which sits inside the Xbox.

SoundCloud Xbox

SoundCloud allows global superstars as well as amateur DJs to upload audio content to its platform. Founded in 2009 by Swedish sound designer Alexander Ljung and Swedish artist Eric Wahlforss, it is one of Berlin’s best-known tech companies.

Other music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora already have apps on the Xbox and other games consoles, so arguably SoundCloud is simply playing catchup with its rivals.

Investors have backed SoundCloud with $298 million (£231 million) and the company isn’t yet profitable. While SoundCloud is burning through millions of euros as it struggles to find a reliable revenue stream, it is reportedly still on the acquisition radar of Silicon Valley giants like Google and Twitter.

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NOW WATCH: Here’s why Steve Wozniak used to wait in line overnight for new Apple products

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Tim Cook phoned the White House to urge Trump not to withdraw the US from the Paris climate deal (AAPL)

tim cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook phoned the White House earlier this week to urge President Donald Trump not to withdraw from the Paris climate deal, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The Paris Agreement lays out a framework for countries to phase out fossil fuels and adopt clean energy in an attempt to prevent the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. It’s the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate legacy.

News website Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is planning to pull the US out of the deal, which would reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate the risks of climate change, although Trump is yet to formally announce anything.

Cook, who is on a mission to make Apple one of the greenest tech companies in the world, placed the phone call to the White House on Tuesday, according to a Bloomberg source that is reportedly familiar with the matter. It’s unclear who Cook spoke to within the White House.

Apple is one of the greenest megacorporations in the world. It powers its data centres with 100% renewable energy sources and its facilities worldwide with 96% renewables.

Donald Trump

“Climate change is undeniable,” Apple writes on the Environment section of its website. “Earth’s resources won’t last forever. And technology must be safe for people to make and use. We don’t question these realities — we challenge ourselves to ask what we can do about them in every part of our business.”

Several other business leaders and politicians have urged Trump not to pull the US out of the global pact. CEOs of 25 major corporations signed a letter in favour of the climate pact that is set to be published in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, according to The Verge.

Elon MuskElon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and PayPal, tweeted on Wednesday that he has done all he can to influence Trump’s decision.

“Don’t know which way Paris will go, but I’ve done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain,” Musk said.

Musk then said he would leave Trump’s advisory councils if the US withdrew from the Paris Agreement, saying he would have “no choice” if the US pulled out of the climate deal.

Musk sits on two of Trump’s councils: an economic advisory board and the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. Musk has come under fire for his proximity to the Trump administration — some people claimed they cancelled their Tesla Model 3 orders because of his involvement in the councils.

Additional reporting by Danielle Muoio.

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NOW WATCH: Here’s why Boeing 747s have a giant hump in the front

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This 'shopbot' allows you to find out where an outfit is from simply by taking a photo

glamix 3

Fashion lovers, rejoice — recreating the outfits you see on your social media feeds or even on the street is now as easy as taking a picture.

Glamix, a chatbot created by Israeli startup Syte, allows users to snap a photo of an outfit they like, and send the image via Facebook Messenger to Glamix (@glamix.me), the “personal fashion assistant” the company calls “gigi.”

The photos generating the search can be taken either directly from the Instagram pages of influencers, online magazines, or can simply be a photo taken by you and stored on your phone.

The AI-bot or “shopbot” platform then uses automatic responses and image recognitions to identify the exact same products or similar (and sometimes cheaper) items that are available to buy online, allowing you to recreate any outfit.

The “visual search engine” has agreements in place with most major retailers in the UK, according to co-founder, CMO, and former City capital markets banker Lihi Pinto Fryman, as well as some in the US and France. She said that at the point of last week’s launch, the bot could access around 10 million products.

In the UK, it has access to high street favourites like Topshop, ASOS, H&M, Zara, Mango, as well as department stores House of Fraser, John Lewis, Selfridges, and Harrods, with the company earning a commission on each sale. In the US, it counts Bloomingdales and Macys among its stockists.

To find out where an outfit featured on a fashion blogger’s Instagram post came from, firstly, select the photo.


Then, click on the three dots in the top right hand corner, where the drop down will give you the option to “Share to Messenger.”

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Send the image to Glamix (@glamix.me). The bot replies right away, giving users some categories to choose from. We chose “Bags.”

frug ss

Glamix then comes back with a range of 10 to 20 product options per photo, and users can filter products by price.

frug ss 2

“If, for example, you were to send an Instagram photo from the Gucci store, you would probably get the original version, as well as other options, as the machine will recognise the features of the product,” Fryman said. “It’s fun, instant, and addictive.”

Glamix may throw up items from websites in different geographies, but it will only show products that can be shipped to your location, says Fryman. Though, usually that would incur higher delivery costs and longer shipping times.

glamix screenshotSyte, a company focused on combining artificial intelligence and fashion, has spent the last three years developing the platform.

Fryman told Business Insider that it all began with a red dress.

While living in London, she was surfing the internet one day and came across the perfect dress, but couldn’t find it for sale anywhere.

“I asked myself, ‘How is it possible in 2014 that I see something I like but I can’t just tap and get it? It felt a bit surreal given we have achieved so much in tech, but yet fashion is so behind.”

It got Fryman and her tech-minded husband, Ofer, thinking. Along with her brother Idan, the three then founded the company.

Now, in Fryman’s opinion, a shopbot like Glamix is more user-friendly than an app. “People are tired of downloading endless apps, but everyone has Instagram and Facebook,” she said.

The Glamix Instagram account @glamix.me currently has almost 45,000 followers.

It is targeting millennials, both male and female, and generally keen online shoppers. Eventually, Fryman says the plan is to offer new features, such as user discounts and sale alerts, once it has collected sufficient data about what they like.

“It’s advertising in a completely different way — when we want them (brands) we can call them by tapping the image,” says Fryman. “We want to change the way retailers interact with consumers, which the market is demanding.”

See how the app works in the video below:

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NOW WATCH: I wear these computer glasses every day even though I have perfect vision — here’s why

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After investing in Twitter, Steve Ballmer gave up investing (TWTR)

steve ballmer

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, California — When Steve Ballmer retired from the CEO job at Microsoft in 2014, he set his sights on becoming a tech investor and soon made a big bet on Twitter, acquiring a 4% stake.

That bet has not turned out very well so far, and now the former Microsoft head honcho admits he’s lost his taste for investing. 

At the Code Conference taking place near Los Angeles this week, Ballmer discussed his short-lived stint as a tech investor and his decision to move on to other pursuits.

“I’m out of that phase, for those of you who might be looking for money. I’m not in that phase at all anymore,” he said. “I’m out of that investment thing.”

He’s focused on owning his NBA basketball team, the LA Clippers; running his philanthropic organization with his wife, The Ballmer Group; and playing golf, he told Business Insider on the sidelines of the conference.

Back around the time he bought stock in Twitter it was trading at well above $25 per share. The stock is currently well below $20, as the internet company’s stagnant user growth and internal turmoil have tarnished its image on Wall Street.

Ballmer didn’t blame Twitter’s poor stock performance for souring him on investing, but he laughed about it, saying it was part of a “magical decision” he made at that time to try out a new career.

While he wouldn’t say if he’s sold off much of his Twitter stake, Ballmer confirmed that he still has a sizeable stake.

A believer and a critic

These days, Ballmer doesn’t even tune into the quarterly conference calls, though he says he still believes in the company, its role in sharing information real-time and its ability to let people talk directly to each other.

“I still have a lot of money into the concept that says there is an opportunity to make it into a real business,” he said, although he also added he doesn’t see “exactly” how the company would immediately do that.

Jack DorseyBallmer continues to be vocal in his criticism of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who is doing double duty as CEO of online payment company Square.

“Being a CEO is a hard job, right? I can speak to that. Being a CEO of two things, I can’t even imagine,” he said. “You can’t do that if you are really going to do the right thing for your shareholders.”

Interestingly, Ballmer acknowledged that he’s never really gotten into tweeting much himself, feeling like his tweets were sort of boring or repetitive. 

“I just felt like, how many times could I tweet, ‘Ho! Great game today!'” he laughed. “I don’t want to be that guy. I want to have something interesting to say.”

SEE ALSO: Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer wants his wealth to help families here at home in the US

SEE ALSO: New York Times editor: There are 2 reasons the Trump administration has so many leaks

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NOW WATCH: Trump accidentally tweeted ‘covfefe’ — and Twitter immediately turned it into a huge meme

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Revenue, I choose you! The Pokémon Company’s profits jump by 2,500 percent

 It’s been a banner year for The Pokémon Company: Pokémon GO was a global phenomenon and the latest full-on Pokégame for the 3DS sold very well indeed. One would expect the company to be doing well financially — perhaps even doubling or tripling last year’s profits. Well, apparently it quinvigintupled them, which is to say multiplied by 25 times. (I had to look it up.) Read More

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