iPad App mem:o Is A Simple Data Visualization Tool For Design Lovers

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Technology makes it easy to turn the minutiae of our daily lives into useful data sets, but sometimes it feels bleak seeing every experience or memory broken down into pie charts and bar graphs. mem:o is a unique visualization tool that takes life-logging beyond spreadsheets by transforming data into striking images influenced by Dutch graphic design. The iPad app is free for download and includes two boards, with the option of adding more boards via an in-app purchase.

Developers Caroline Oh and Young Sang Cho, the duo behind studio c+y, say the app’s look was inspired by the bold shapes and playful colors of graphic design influenced by Werkplaats Typografie (Typography Workshop), a masters program run by the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands. mem:o uses a font called Brown that was created by Swiss designer Aurèle Sack to be especially legible. But mem:o isn’t targeted at…

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Google And Others Reportedly Pay Adblock Plus To Show You Ads Anyway



Originally posted on TechCrunch:

If you work for a company that depends on advertising revenue, you won’t hear people talk that often about using Adblock Plus, but it’s something that millions of consumers probably can’t imagine their Internet browsing without at this point. It manages to block out most ads on websites, providing a relatively clean experience that’s sometimes night and day from the standard web.

The thing is, some ads do get through, and Google at least appears to be paying to make that happen, according to a new report that’s prompting a lot of discussion on Hacker News. Adblock Plus has an “acceptable ads” filter that allows certain content by default, and the company makes no secret that it charges big companies for whitelisting services – it mentions it right in its FAQ.

AdblockPlus says this fee is about helping it to maintain its filter list, which also whitelists some small websites and…

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Low-Cost iPhone’s Plastic Case Shows Up In Alleged Video And Photo Leak


This is really something #Apple has to come up to revolutionize the world.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Apple is said to be preparing a lower cost iPhone for later this year, with a plastic shell instead of its typical recipe of metal and glass to lower component costs. Now a site called Techdy, which creates Android knock-off handsets of higher-end devices, is claiming to have obtained the new phone’s plastic casing and front-screen assembly.

1040186-1024x682The supposed early manufacturing prototype leak shows a smooth plastic shell in white that Techdy says feels much higher-quality than the plastic casings used in phones by other manufacturers like Samsung. The front resembles the screen of the iPhone we all know and love and has a black design that will reportedly be common to a variety of different color options for the back plastic half.

The slightly contoured edges on the rear of this supposed budget iPhone are very much reminiscent of the current-generation iPod touch – essentially, this looks like a…

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Instagram Video Vs. Vine: What’s The Difference?

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Instagram just launched video functionality. Glorious, 15-second, editable video functionality. Complete with image stabilization.

So what does this mean for Vine? In the end, the competition should give users plenty to be excited about, whether you’re a Vine loyalist or an Instagrammaholic. And both apps will likely continue to thrive, as I’ve stated a few times already. Where Instagram’s user base is mostly made up of people documenting their feet, coffees, and pets, Vine has attracted a group of users who are pleased by the challenges set forth in the app.

Instagram’s filters, longer video length, stability technology and already-ingrained user behavior will keep its video offering very similar to its photo offering. People will now just post videos of their feet, coffees, and pets. At the same time, Vine’s growing community of creatives and tinkering designers will likely continue to blossom, as well.

But to end my endless…

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Samsung’s Shape-Shifting Ativ Q Isn’t Pretty, But Running Windows 8 And Android May Make It A Worthy Workhorse

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Samsung just pulled back the curtain on a new line of Ativ Windows notebooks, but perhaps the most interesting of the company’s new Ativs is a 13.3-inch convertible tablet it hopes will appeal those prepping to head back to school. The shape-shifting Ativ Q sports a tablet mode, a video-friendly formfactor with the screen held near vertical, and a more traditional notebook configuration that reveals its built-in QWERTY keyboard, but it’s got an even niftier trick up its sleeve.

While the Ativ Q boots into Windows 8 there’s also a dual-OS mode that allows the users to switch to stock Android 4.2.2, thereby allowing for Microsoft productivity staples such as Office to live in close proximity to the Google Play Store and the usual gamut of Android apps. It’s a cake-and-eat-it-too tablet. Or a tablet for someone who just can’t decide between Windows or Android.

The Ativ Q also supports…

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Hands-On With Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom, The Smartphone With A 10x Optical Zoom Lens

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom steers its Galaxy brand into slightly new territory, by creating a hybrid smartphone-cum-pocket-camera. Unlike pretty much every other cameraphone around, the Zoom has a 10x optical zoom lens protruding from its rear.

In short, it’s a phone with two faces: one pure Galaxy smartphone, the second resembling a classic point-and-shoot camera. It’s a curious move that’s likely to grab consumers’ attention, but there’s a bigger question here — what’s it like using it?


If you only look at the Zoom’s phone half, you’d quickly discover it’s largely standard mid-range Galaxy fare — the usual TouchWiz interface runs atop Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and there’s a dual-core 1.5GHz chipset powering the show. It felt fast and responsive during my brief hands on, and the 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED screen was bright and plenty big enough for all the typical smartphone uses, without being as huge a pane as…

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Samsung’s Galaxy NX Is A 4G Android Interchangeable Lens Camera That Lets You Post To Instagram

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Now that video on Instagram just got real, a connected pro camera with direct access to Android apps makes a fair bit of sense. Enter the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy NX.

Samsung continues to push its Galaxy brand into new devices’ types and categories, a strategy aimed at extending the success it’s had with the brand in smartphones. Today the Korean giant has added the Galaxy badge to its high end camera range, with the launch of this digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC): its first interchangeable lens camera to run Android.

Samsung’s other high end cameras have been badged NX but this is the first time it’s used the Galaxy brand on its pro range. It’s not, however, the first time it’s pushed the Galaxy brand into camera tech territory — having recently extended the Galaxy S4 range with a hybrid smartphone point-and-shoot camera with a 10x optical zoom…

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Samsung Reveals The Ativ Q, A Convertible Windows 8 Tablet That Runs Android, Too



Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Samsung has just kicked off its Premiere event at Earls Court in London, and decided to lead with one particularly curious device — in addition to the ability to transform from a 2.8-pound tablet to a notebook with QWERTY keyboard, the company’s shape-shifting Ativ Q convertible also gives users a taste of the Android ecosystem.

As is usually the case though, news of the Q slipped out just a bit ahead of schedule — Italian-langauge site NotebookItalia came through with early press images of the Q hours before the official reveal (though there was no mention of the Q’s dual-OS tendencies). That initial leak pointed to the inclusion of an incredibly high resolution 13.3-inch display and an new Intel Haswell Core i5 processor, as well as 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, details which have now been corroborated.

Samsung’s on-stage banter further confirms that the Q’s display runs…

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Google To Take On Apple’s Game Center Soon, Leaks Suggest

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Games dominate the mobile app ecosystem. Seriously.

It’s easy to forget that as we all search for the next big, hype-worthy app of the moment, but it’s the truth. Eight out of the ten most purchased apps last year were games. Nine of the ten highest grossing apps in the App Store last year, all games.

Combine this with the fact that Apple’s Game Center was launched almost 2.5 years ago, and it’s a bit strange that Google has yet to launch a Game Center-esque hub of their own for Android.

If a string of recent leaks hold true, they’re finally getting around to it.

The guys over at AndroidPolice tore apart a just-released APK for “Play Services” — the behind-the-scenes grunt app that handles things like app updates — and have unearthed a host of details suggesting that Google is on the verge of launching a centralized gaming hub…

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Quickoffice In The Browser: The Reason Why Microsoft Is Suddenly So Scared Of Google’s Productivity Tools

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

We’re just a few days away from the start of Google I/O, the search giant’s annual developer conference, and while we actually know very little about what Google plans to announce during its massive, three-hour keynote on Wednesday, there is something brewing in Mountain View that has Microsoft’s Office division on edge. Over the course of the last week, Microsoft started a very negative anti-Google Docs campaign that fits the mold of its more general Scroogled anti-Google ads. But why the sudden focus on Google’s productivity tools? That reason, I believe, is Quickoffice in the browser.

Quickoffice, which Google acquired last June, allows users to read and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the iPad, iPhone and Android. Unlike Google Docs, which remains a relatively limited productivity suite when compared to Microsoft Office, Quickoffice does a very nice job at allowing you to open and edit Office…

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