Posts Tagged ‘social’

AllThingsD Week in Review: Wearable Computing Comes to Clothes, and Yahoos Hate Yahoo Mail

November 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: Change is hard for many, but the latest iteration of Yahoo Mail has collected a chorus of complainers — including quite a few Yahoo employees , only 25 percent of whom have heeded management pleas to switch away from Outlook. Nokia’s first phablet, the Lumia 1520, boasts a six-inch full-HD display and a 20-megapixel camera. In All Things Reviewed, Bonnie Cha found it to be “a solid phablet” with “fast performance and good battery life,” but that, like other phablets, it can be cumbersome to handle. What’s next for wearable devices? They’re already on our wrists, but what about activity trackers in our clothes ? That’s the idea behind a startup called Athos, but there are still plenty of unanswered questions about how to turn that idea into a consumer-friendly reality. Black Friday has once again come and gone, but some of the deals on videogame consoles that rolled out on Thursday and Friday are still available today. This buyer’s guide explains the differences among all the different types of consoles, and which games work with which systems. If you did line up for doorbuster deals on Black Friday yesterday, though, you might have wasted your valuable time , according to one business school professor. Sorry! According to teardowns by research firm IHS, both of the big new gaming consoles are only barely profitable. Last week, we learned that Sony’s $399 PlayStation 4 costs $381 to build . This week, it was Microsoft’s turn; the $499 Xbox One similarly costs $471 , according to the teardown. As AllThingsD reported it would, Yahoo this week announced that Katie Couric would become its “global news anchor.” Details about the hiring were scant, but, like many other media stars, Couric has a long history of dipping her toe into the online space. Apple lost its antitrust e-book trial over the summer.

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Bitcoin, Schmitcoin — Tech Stocks Also on a Frothy Run

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While the stock market was only open a half-day today, it was still a solid one for Internet stocks as the market enters its final month of 2013. Most showed gains yesterday, with Apple, Amazon and Twitter all up almost two percent. But that does not tell the story of how well shares of tech companies have been doing throughout the year — most are up significantly, seeing big jumps. For the year-to-date, most well-known issues are up, including: LinkedIn, up more that 95 percent; Facebook, up over 76.5 percent; Yahoo, up 83 percent; Amazon, up 57 percent; Google, up close to 50 percent; and even perpetually stagnant Microsoft, up close to 43 percent. Apple lagged, up only 4.5 percent, and Twitter remains below its November IPO price, down 7.4 percent. Even suffering Groupon and Zynga did well, up more than 86 percent and 84 percent respectively. The past three months have not been as strong, though, with Amazon leading the pack with a 38.6 percent rise. It was followed by Yahoo, up 35.3 percent; Google, up close to 34 percent; Facebook and Microsoft, up close to 14 percent; and Apple, up just over 13 percent. LinkedIn declined just over seven percent in the period, not a surprise, given its spectacular rise since it went public in mid-2011. What the rest of the year and 2014 will bring is anyone’s guess, of course, but there are expected to be a spate of IPOs in the first half of the new year, most notably China’s Alibaba Group, whose stellar performance should continue to boost Yahoo’s stock.

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone. It makes sense, then, that a site like Facebook — which aims to essentially be a digital-identity service and record of your online life — has subsumed the functionality. It’s also a simpler way to look into the past without requiring the work of digging back through your entire Timeline. As Facebook said, the feature isn’t being pushed out widely at the moment. But the timing of the test seems perfect: It comes smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and the holidays, the time of year perhaps best suited to nostalgia and self-reflection.

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone.

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone. It makes sense, then, that a site like Facebook — which aims to essentially be a digital-identity service and record of your online life — has subsumed the functionality. It’s also a simpler way to look into the past without requiring the work of digging back through your entire Timeline. As Facebook said, the feature isn’t being pushed out widely at the moment. But the timing of the test seems perfect: It comes smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and the holidays, the time of year perhaps best suited to nostalgia and self-reflection.

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Vietnamese Government Passes Law to Fine Social Media Critics

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the latest of a series of severe crackdowns against online speech, Vietnamese officials announced a new law that could give the government the power to jail or issue steep fines to citizens who criticize the state via social media outlets. The law, known as Decree 72, is a vaguely worded dictum that allows the government to issue fines of up to 100 million dong (about $5,000 USD) to citizens who are “abusing the provision and use of the Internet and information on the web,” or those who “oppose the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” and “undermining the fine customs and traditions of the nation,” according to language from the bill. Some comments could also warrant imprisonment if considered “criminal,” though the distinction between comments worthy of fines and those worth jail time was unclear. Vietnam has had a history of censoring sites on the Internet to its citizens, intermittently blocking Facebook since 2009. In September, the government banned bloggers and online commentators from discussing news and current affairs on their websites, keeping that news restricted to state-owned press outlets and operations. Another stipulation of Decree 72 requires foreign companies that work in Vietnam to host at least one server inside the country. The Vietnamese government has arrested and jailed record numbers of dissident bloggers and activists in 2013 alone, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Activist groups including the EFF, the Asian Internet Coalition, Human Rights Watch and members of European Parliament have widely condemned the country’s crackdown against online speech. In August, 11 human rights and activist organizations sent a joint letter to the Vietnamese government, condemning the state and requesting that a number of detained writers be released. “We believe Vietnam as a country would benefit from greater respect for the civil liberties of its citizens and Vietnamese society would be richer with the contributions of all its citizens,” the letter said.

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"Better to Be Paranoid and Wrong" — SpaceX Thanksgiving Launch Scrubbed for a Few Days

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Without making the obvious “turkeys can’t fly” joke — wait, I just did — SpaceX had to scrub the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket’s launch of a telecommunications satellite from Cape Canaveral in Florida yesterday morning. According to SpaceX , the SES-8 is an “Orbital Sciences GEOStar-2 spacecraft that will provide communications coverage of the South Asia and Asia Pacific regions. This hybrid Ku- and Ka-band spacecraft weighs 3,138 kg (6,918 lbs) at launch.” It was to be delivered to a “geosynchronous transfer orbit 80,000 km from Earth — that’s ¼ of the way to the moon.” In other words, it was heavy, and it had to travel far. Thus, it’s still on terra firma, after the second attempt to launch. The first try was on Monday. SpaceX said the team was having another gander at the engines, and would try to hoist it into the sky in a few days. SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk tweeted that, too, yesterday, but with more color: We called manual abort. Better to be paranoid and wrong. Bringing rocket down to borescope engines … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2013

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Ditch the Wristbands: For Next Generation of Wearables, Dumb Clothes Get Smart

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As much excitement as there may be about wearable sensors, most of the activity tracking devices today are pretty lame. That’s because they’re often restricted to a certain body part — usually the wrist — and have limited access to what’s going on with the rest of the body, like heart rate, specific muscle activation, calorie intake, or even what the legs are doing. The fiery activated threads are a visualization; the Athos clothing won’t literally turn the wearer into a girl on fire. The next step in wearables may be for devices to move beyond jewelry and onto the rest of our bodies. But what’s gained in accuracy may be dampened by higher prices and lower convenience. There’s also the simple challenge of the washing machine. After all, physical activity leads to sweating. A company called Athos that launched this week had hoped to make garments with electronics embedded in them. When I met the company more than a year ago, the prototype had spiderwebs of wires glued onto it. Each shirt was going to cost something like $300. So the team revised its vision to make a wireless module that can be slipped into pockets on custom apparel so it lies flat on the skin. That’s not cheap either. Preorders for delivery to U.S. customers in the summer of 2014 cost $99 for tops, $99 for bottoms, and $199 for the Athos Core Module. “We are targeting individuals who are committed to fitness, ones who go out of their way to schedule in a workout, a ride or a yoga session,” said Athos founder DJ Jayalath, via email. “With regard to the price — it can be compared to being less than the price of five sessions with a personal trainer, or hundred dollars more than a Nike FuelBand and a pair of compression shorts.” The Athos workout gear has sensors throughout that pick up on muscle exertion from the chest, shoulders, arms, back, quads, hamstrings and glutes, plus heart rate and breathing. The module insert transmits that info over Bluetooth to iPhones and iPads (no Android yet)

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Facebook Testing Instapaper-Like "Save for Later Reading" Feature

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Facebook wants you to spend more time reading news on Facebook. The company is testing a feature that would allow users to save links shared inside Facebook to a list for later reading, according to recently surfaced mobile screenshots. The functionality is quite similar to the popular apps Pocket and Instapaper. “We’re constantly testing new features, but we have nothing further to share at this time,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . The feature, which was pointed out to AllThingsD by the technology blog MyTechSkool , comes in the form of a small iBook-like bookmark button attached to stories shared in the News Feed. Click the button, and the link will be set aside in a “saved” menu inside a user’s Facebook apps menu. Photo courtesy of MyTechSkool Facebook has made it clear that it wants to play more of a part in how people use the social network to discover and read articles from third-party publishers. In a redesign to its News Feed over the last year, more prominence and visibility has been placed on articles shared on Facebook (though this redesign, for whatever reason, has not yet rolled out widely to all users). “We want to give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper in the world,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at an event earlier this year . The company is also reportedly building its own newsreader-like feature, according to The Wall Street Journal — a further attempt to make Facebook a destination for media content and discovery. This recent test is apparently the second iteration of a “save for later” feature, though earlier efforts were less visible and not as easy to understand and use .

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Newt Gingrich Leads a Totally Digital Lifestyle

November 27, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Newt Gingrich Age 70 Accomplishments Co-host on CNN’s Crossfire (weeknights at 6:30); author; co-founder of Gingrich Productions; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Base Arlington, Va. What’s the first information you consume in the morning? I have a retired research director who edits world news for me across an extraordinary range of topics, and I get probably between one and two hundred emails a day from him. So I start every morning by scanning his emails. Tell us about your social media habits. I have Twitter and Facebook. My staff does Instagram for me—I haven’t gotten around to it. My wife [Callista] is a fanatic Instagrammer. Wherever we are, she’s taking pictures. What’s your favorite gadget? My No. 1 tech gadget is the iPad. I gave up my desktop computer. I have no use for it anymore. I have a laptop sitting at home, but it’s very unlikely I’ll use it.

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