posted about 19 hours ago on the next web
European ride-sharing service Carpooling.com has today launched new features for its mobile apps designed to make it easier for passengers to meet up with drivers. While Carpooling.com focuses on providing longer inter-city travel (the company says the average journey is 125 miles) it still needs to stay visible, adaptable and where appropriate, competitive with shorter hop ride-sharing services like Wundercar To that end, from today, users of the German version of the app have access to a new feature called Meet Me Now that provides passengers with photos and details of the car and driver, as well as providing the GPS... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Blurb, the indie publishing platform that lets photographers self-publish their books, has joined forces with Amazon, the retail giant, to sell and distribute books produced and designed by Blurb authors. This opens up a great opportunity for photographers to propel their work into the public eye. To facilitate that, Blurb is introducing BookWright, a new design tool that includes, among other things, free ISBN numbers. In contrast, an ISBN number purchased through Bowker, the U.S. ISBN agency, generally costs $125. With this new program, anyone who creates a book using BookWright, Blurb’s Adobe InDesign plug-in, or Amazon distribution can get a free ISBN. BookWright,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Uber is now live in 100 cities across the world, but it is likely to embrace new payment methods, including cash, in order to realize its goal of becoming a company that is relevant in emerging markets. Speaking at the company’s launch event in Bangkok, Thailand, earlier this month, Mike Brown – Uber’s regional general manager in Southeast Asia — told The Next Web that he is “100 percent sure” that the taxi-booking firm will grow into an company with services for everyone, which means it’s likely to tweak its current payment model in some places. Right now, Uber relies on customers using credit cards — and... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Mac Bundles remain a solid way to save money on top Mac apps. The latest bundle from StackSocial demonstrates that well, as you name the price for 10 OS X apps including RapidWeaver and TuneUp.  The apps highlighting this bundle are RapidWeaver (a top WYSIWYG HTML5 editor), well-known music organizer TuneUp, and Crossover, which lets you run Windows programs on your Mac. If you hit the leaderboard at any point during the promotion, you are automatically entered to win a new 11-inch MacBook Air. In full, the bundle includes: RapidWeaver 5 ($79) – Beautiful Website Design and Creation Made Easy TuneUp ($50) – Automatically... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Andrea Ayres-Deets is the Lead Writer at Crew, an invite-only network connecting short-term software projects with handpicked developers and designers. Andrea writes about psychology, creativity, and business over on the Crew blog. I spend all day on a computer. No, wait, that’s an understatement. I spend nearly every waking hour of every single day in front of a digital device. By 4:00 p.m. my eyes are dry, bloodshot, and begging for relief. They are out of luck though because I have maybe four or five hours left of work here. When it’s really bad, I can actually hear myself blinking. The... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
With each passing year, the ability to understand and write code becomes increasingly valuable. The demand for competent developers is growing and the required skill set is seeping into professions where it simply wasn’t relevant a decade ago. Codecademy has built an unparalleled reputation around its free platform for learning programming languages such as Ruby, Python and JavaScript. The courses are plentiful, accessible and modern, with a strangely addictive system for tracking, sharing and comparing progress. With over 24 million users, Codecademy is seeking further growth with a radical site redesign. The screenshots I was sent in advance look gorgeous,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
International travelers coming to the US now have a convenient option for renting a smartphone with a data plan. Explora today launched its rental service offering customers a Nexus 5 with unlimited voice, text messages and 4G data for $8 a day. To make things easy, Explora can ship the phone ahead of time to an address, such as your hotel, so that the device is ready to use as soon as you arrive. When you’re done with the phone, you can just ship it back via the included pre-paid envelope. Explora rentals come pre-loaded with several apps that you... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Shuffler.fm, the curated music-discovery service designed to help users navigate the music shared by online publications and blogs, has rolled out an iPhone version of Pause, its recently-launched standalone multimedia music magazine. Hitting the App Store back in February for iPad, Pause is essentially a curation of Shuffler.fm’s already-curated music service, so this is all about the crème de la crème of the best new music. It highlights the best songs, videos, albums and charts, as well as some of the best music writing from the likes of The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Fader, Fact magazine, Resident Advisor, XLR8R,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Popular Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has been teasing a mysterious new product which looked suspiciously like an Apple Magic Trackpad, but today it was finally as a mini wireless router. The Mi Router Mini comes in an array of colors and is available for only CNY129 ($21). Xiaomi touts it as being up to three times faster than traditional wireless routers, theoretically supporting a speed of up to 1167 Mbps. It is also a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz router. At the same time, Xiaomi also announced today the full launch of its Apple-style wireless router, the Mi Router, which was unveiled in beta last... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Global average connection speeds have hit a new high, rising 27 percent year-over-year to 3.8 Mbps. At the same time, the demands of the mobile world continue to grow, with data traffic increasing by 70 percent in the last year. The latest figures come from Akamai, which today published its quarterly State of the Internet report for Q4 2013. The firm listed 133 markets as experiencing an increase in average connection speeds year-over-year, ranging from 0.7 percent in Lebanon (to 1.3 Mbps) to a 164 percent rise in Réunion (to 6.4 Mbps). Only seven countries saw their average connection speeds... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
Viber, the free calling and messaging app that Rakuten bought for $900 million, has released a significant update for its iOS app that introduces a new flat design and a number of additional features. Viber for iOS 4.2 now sports an iOS 7-like layout — which the company describes as “clean and flat” — with a stronger focus on multimedia. Users can now share multiple images at the same time, while they can also record and share longer video messaging and block specific phone numbers. Finally, the indicator that the other person is typing has been switched on for the Android tablet app, and... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
We knew it was coming, but from today Sky+ HD customers can buy movie downloads from the Sky Store and receive a DVD copy in the post at no additional cost. Announced around three weeks ago, the service allows subscribers to Sky TV’s HD service to purchase popular movie titles like ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ and ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ for between £7.99 and £13.99. Although currently restricted to only Sky+ HD customers, the company confirmed that over the next year customers will be able to access the movies they’ve bought via a smartphone or a tablet. TV box sets will... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 1 day ago on the next web
OnePlus, the startup founded by former Oppo executive Pete Lau, today unveiled its first flagship smartphone. Simply called the One, it offers top-tier components at a price even lower than Google’s high-value Nexus 5. As promised, the Android handset runs on a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 3,100 mAh battery. Those specs are comparable to, or occasionally better than, this year’s batch of Android flagships, including the HTC One (M8), Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5. The device looks attractive too, with a thin bezel around the edge and a larger chin... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Google is testing a new favoriting service for its Chrome browser. Called Google Stars (although the Google Collections name has also been used in the past), the new option appears to still in very early testing, but it does let users star “items” on the Web as well as add them to folders. Once saved, these “items” are called stars, and they can be searched for as well as shared with others. The new addition was first discovered by Google+ user Florian Kiersch. He found the following strings in “the source code of the Google Collections modules in web search”... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Apple has today opened up the OS X Beta Seed Program, which allows you to test pre-release versions of the Mac operating system. Until now you needed a $99 per year developer account to access beta versions of OS X. As noted by TechCrunch, you can now do so for free. However, you’ll still need to accept a confidentiality agreement, so you should think twice before leaking any new features to the world. ➤ OS X Beta Seed Program

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Twitter launched a new and very Facebook-like look for profile pages earlier this month. Initially the design was rolled out to a limited number of users, but today Twitter has announced that it is now available for all users. The design includes a lot of new features — including highlighting popular tweets, pinned tweets, a larger background image, and a more prominent media gallery — but Twitter is letting you try them out before you commit to the change. If like what you see after your preview the new look, then you can choose to switch it today. Alternatively you can leave your profile as it already is, but... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Len Kendall is the founder of CentUp. Prior to starting a company he worked in PR where he helped put out fires and manage digital communications. Crowdfunding has brought some interesting things into the world. That includes a company which recently sold to Facebook for $2.4 billion dollars, and soon it will help repair Cedric the Tortoise’s penis. Despite raising billions of dollars to launch new projects, Kickstarter and tools like it have been used incorrectly by thousands of creative professionals. Much like using a hammer to prune a tree, Kickstarter isn’t the right tool for an ongoing effort. A writer does not generate... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
WhatsApp today announced it has passed the 500 million active user milestone, up 100 million from December 2013. The company also revealed its users are now sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos daily. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum says his service has grown fastest over the last few months in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia. In other words, emerging markets and countries with large populations are helping the messaging platform expand quickly. “We could go on, but for now, it’s more important that we get back to work – because here at WhatsApp, we’re just... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Google today announced plans to bring mobile app install ads to YouTube and Search. Through the Google Play store, the company is already able to analyse which search terms result in the highest number of downloads for any given app category. If someone is looking for a last minute hotel room, for instance, they’ll likely search with some of those terms. Google will now suggest those keywords to developers and advertisers, so they can purchase mobile app install ads that arise when someone uses those terms in YouTube or Search. If “fitness apps” leads to higher downloads of running apps,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
If you’re a WordPress-using photo-blogger looking to save yourself some spadework, you might like this little tool developed by Automattic. Rather than manually scheduling posts for individual photos one at a time, Postbot lets you drag-and-drop your snaps to upload and schedule them automatically – you can edit the details for each image as they’re uploading to save time, and a post is created for each one accordingly. Postbot then schedules them to publish at pre-set intervals over a number of days. You can also stipulate that it doesn’t post on weekends too. Schedule With Postbot To set yourself up, hit... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Bill Beardslee is the CEO of Magnolia Americas, where he is responsible for Magnolia’s business in the Americas, tending to clients, sales, lead generation and infrastructure. At times, organizations find themselves making excuses for delays in publishing, re-configuration or heavy customization of their CMS. Fueling such excuses are a series of product-level issues that separately could be annoying. Collectively, these issues can defuse a company’s ability to use their site as a weapon in their marketplace. Here are a few telltale indicators that it may be time to change your CMS. 1. You need two separate tools for publishing to desktop and... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
So-called infinite storage platform Bitcasa has quietly introduced streaming support for Google Chromecast – though only on Android for now. The company formally announced the news today, though it seems the update was actually rolled out a couple of weeks ago. We tested the feature out briefly earlier and it worked flawlessly with both videos and music, letting you pause, play and control the volume.     We first covered Bitcasa way back in 2011, noting that the cloud storage startup was looking to bring infinite storage to your desktop. Almost one year after that, Bitcasa was already managing 5 petabytes of... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Twitter is to offer a native ads platform through MoPub, the mobile ad exchange it acquired in September last year. After four months of testing, MoPub will now allow any of its customers to set up, manage and sell their direct-sold and in-house native ads through the new platform. The platform consists of an SDK, which developers can use to build a customizable ad unit inside their existing mobile apps, and an ad server for recording ad campaigns as part of their native ad inventory. Twitter then offers a native ad extension, connected to OpenRTB, which will allow other publishers... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
Denis Duvauchelle is the CEO and co-founder of productivity app Twoodo. Negotiation is not the simple art of getting what you want, when you want it. A great negotiation, whether in your personal or professional life, will leave both parties feeling [somewhat] satisfied rather than producing a clear winner and a clear loser. Becoming a great negotiator is a skill that will serve you well throughout your life. Many opportunities in life are missed by being unable to bargain effectively. Could you have gotten an agreement to pay slightly less rent, and therefore been able to treat yourself to a... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 2 days ago on the next web
At the Googleplex in Mountain View sits a team within the Search Features department that creates all the Google Doodles for the whole world. Ever since co-founder Sergey Brin sketched out a simple Burning Man-themed reworking of the company’s logo in 1998, Doodles have become talking points for the millions of people who see the Google homepage each day. Despite consisting of just ten illustrators, four full-time developers and two project managers, the team managed to create around 350 Doodles last year. “The Doodle team is small but our resources are mighty,” says team leader Ryan Germick (pictured top in 2011) who... This story continues at The Next Web

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