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While services like SoundCloud, Vimeo and YouTube allow content creators to share their work with the world, Clowdy is a relatively new service that aims to provide more of a network to help them develop their careers. Audio, video and photography can be uploaded and sold directly to fans in what the founders hope will become a thriving social hub for discovering creativity. While other platforms offer some similar features, Clowdy is bringing multiple forms of media together in one place, and a new feature launched this week should differentiate it further. Creative works can often be team endeavors and it can be hard... This story continues at The Next Web

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Instagram has been serving up ads for a while already in some markets, but now it’s officially rolling out video ads too as expected. As AdWeek reports, the Facebook-owned platform has inked deals to display 15-second skits from a number of big brands, including Disney and Banana Republic. The ads will be appearing from today, and will be rolling out to everyone in the next few weeks. Here’s a peek at what four of the ads look like. Banana Republic Disney CW Call of Duty

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Content and file curation and sharing platform Pearltrees has been updated today with new features that include ‘Meaning’, a new organization system that breaks away from the service’s traditional ‘tree’ interface. ‘Meaning’ is based on a traditional grid and allows users to drag and drop content into collections that can be shared with others and collaborated on with real-time synchronization. Pearltrees tells us that it hopes the new layout will encourage more collaboration between users. The company may have a point – a conventional grid could well take less time for new users to adapt to than Pearltrees’ standard ‘tree of pearls‘,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Karaoke is experiencing a rise in popularity. As a society, we’ve seen that singing in public, both on TV and YouTube, isn’t as weird as our parents led us to believe. In fact, it could lead to to fame and riches. Smule’s karaoke app Sing has been rising along in parallel with society’s sing-along craze and now, you can add videos of your rocking performance. Updated today, the Sing app not only brings video, it does so in a way that fits seamlessly in to the app’s current social features. Now when you perform a duet, after you’ve sung your portion, the app... This story continues at The Next Web

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Personal identity platform About.me has unveiled a new standalone app as it sets out to “reinvent the business card.” Adding to its existing About.me iPhone app, Intro lets you create and exchange business cards digitally, and you can share anything as simple as a link to your About.me page and profile photo, or your email address and mobile phone number. You just log in with your About.me credentials, and you can instantly send your details to anyone using their phone number, email address or About.me details.     Intro also lets you merge this information with your iPhone contacts, while everything... This story continues at The Next Web

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This post is brought to you by Staples. We have everything your business needs to Make More Happen every day, including furniture solutions for any workspace.Founders, when they’re first starting out, will work anywhere and everywhere — coffee shops, home offices, the library and even park benches. When you’re ready to scale; however, you’ll need more than your willpower and laptop; you’ll need an office that accommodates your rapidly growing team, sustains productivity and fosters creativity — and that’s only the beginning. Location can play a major role in your organization’s success. Let’s say you locate your business in a major tech hub like San Francisco or New York, for instance. You’ll be competing for talent in an incredibly fierce employment ecosystem. But let’s say you... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google Play Books for Android is getting an update today, with a focus on non-fiction content. The new version for Android devices brings three new features that make it easier to read textbooks, cookbooks, travel guides and more. Skim Mode in the updated Play Books app Skim Mode: go through an ebook quickly with a video-player-like scrollbar, so you can check out pages and sections of interest in a pinch (perfect for a travel guide when you want to get a quick gameplan together for a trip). Quick Bookmarks: mark multiple pages in a book and hop back and forth between... This story continues at The Next Web

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When it comes to storing data, it’s important to choose a solution that’s easy to use, secure and private. You need to be able to back up your files, access them when you want to, share them with friends, family and colleagues, and rest assured that no one will be able to snoop around to steal or copy them. SpiderOak’s premium backup service checks all those boxes, and more. Even Edward Snowden endorsed SpiderOak, encouraging people to switch over from Dropbox. Built with privacy in mind, SpiderOak lets you securely back up all your files — including your photo library,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Skype for iPhone today received an update introducing some popular user-requested changes for the app, such as the ability to save or delete photos, improved chat load times and better search and filter tools. Now, if you take a photo during a conversation that you later realize you want to keep, you can just press and hold on the image to do so. You can delete unwanted images this way, too. Skype also says load times when opening a chat have been cut down to be near-instant, and the app brings updated search and filter tools to make it easier to find the contact you’re looking for. Finally,... This story continues at The Next Web

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In a move partly designed to cure subscription fatigue, UK telecoms giant BT has revealed it will offer Netflix bundled in alongside its other products. This move was rumored already, but the official reveal was quietly slipped in alongside its Q2 results earlier today. The company says: “We added 38,000 TV customers in the quarter. We continue to focus on strengthening our TV proposition and are excited to announce we have entered into a partnership with Netflix that will allow our customers to sign up for Netflix alongside our other products and services, with the added convenience of paying on... This story continues at The Next Web

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We’ve covered Israel-based startup Any.do for a number of years, and today the popular productivity-focused task-management app has received a huge cross-platform update. With 11 million users in the bag, Any.do has done a good job of building a solid user base in what is a competitive space. But there comes a day when a company must translate user numbers into paying customers, especially with investors to appease. With that in mind, Any.do is unveiling a new premium subscription model, which brings a host of new features into the mix for a monthly or annual fee. In ‘Settings,’ you’ll see... This story continues at The Next Web

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Spotify unveiled a new darker look earlier this year, alongside a handful of refreshes, such as a revamped ‘Your Music’ feature which gives you a “frictionless way” to save, organize and browse music. Today, this update has arrived for iPad users too. This basically brings Spotify’s iPad app into line with its other platforms for a more consistent look, and you’ll note there is refreshed typography and rounded iconography too. You can read all about the redesign from our original post back in April. ➤ Spotify [iOS]

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Lenovo has today completed its $2.91 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility first announced in January this year. Formerly owned by Google, the completion is a mere formality but allows Motorola to go ahead at full force with its upcoming products with the support of Lenovo – one of the world’s largest PC suppliers by market share. “In Lenovo we have a partner that shares our mission and that brings global scale, a diverse product portfolio and a track record of seizing strategic opportunities and making the most of them,” Motorola said in a blog post. “With an impressive portfolio of smartphones, wearables... This story continues at The Next Web

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Homejoy, a platform for arranging a cleaner to visit to your house or apartment, has today announced an expansion into a range of other home services, putting it into direct competition with the likes of Handy and TaskRabbit. The new services include carpet cleaning, air conditioning installation or repair, moving and storage services, furniture assembly, painting and more. From today, these new services are available in San Francisco and San Jose, but the company said they would be available in major markets in the months to come. “Quality is our number one priority. We spent six months perfecting home cleaning in just San Francisco before we... This story continues at The Next Web

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Odes Roberts is an in-house designer for Shutterstock. This post was originally published on the Shutterstock blog and has been reprinted with permission. Making wallpapers for desktops and other screens is easily one of my favorite things to do. I change my wallpapers frequently with found images and experiments with new visual techniques. Here are some fun ways that you can merge images together to make a quick and easy wallpaper that will fit any screen size. Abstract background by ilolab I enjoy bright, rich colors with a bit of texture, so I chose my images with that in mind.... This story continues at The Next Web

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Flipboard just launched v3 of its popular news aggregation app for iOS and Android devices, with a new UI and a host of smart new features to make it ‘more personal and more magazine-like’ than ever. The redesigned app now includes over 34,000 broad and specifc topics (like jazz, product design, and HDR photograpy) powered by Zite, for readers to add to their personal feeds, and content is pulled in from a range of publications, RSS feeds and social networks, and also ‘magazines’ curated by Flipboard users. There’s also a new Daily Edition: a specially curated roundup of the day’s... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft launched its new fitness-focused wearable that plugs into the new cloud-based Microsoft Health tracking service today. Dubbed Microsoft Band, the $199 device tracks users’ heart rate, steps taken, sun exposure, stress levels, calories burned and sleep quality. It relays this data to Microsoft Health to offer insights on companion smartphone apps (for Windows Phone, Android and iOS) on which exercises are most effective, and how well users sleep through the night. In addition to tracking fitness stats, Microsoft Band also offers guided workouts based on users’ wellness goals, maps running routes via GPS, displays email and calendar event previews... This story continues at The Next Web

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Today, IDC reports that smartphone vendors shipped 327.6m devices in Q3 2014, indicating in 25.2% growth when compared to the 261.7m units shipped in Q3 2013, and 8.7% sequential growth above the 301.3m units last quarter. That’s good news for the smartphone market, especially when rumors of a slowdown have been rife over the past few months. In fact, this quarter also saw Xiaomi enter the list of the top five smartphone vendors in the world, placing 3rd with a Q3 shipment volume of 17.3m units. The Beijing, China-based manufacturer’s sales in China, India and nearby markets made for 211.3... This story continues at The Next Web

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Speculation has been circling that Microsoft will unveil a fitness wearable in the near future and we’ve now got our first look at the upcoming device thanks to a leak of its syncing software by Apple, Google and even Microsoft’s own app store. The device, which is simply referred to as the “Microsoft Band” appears to be a fitness band similar to Fitbit and Jawbone’s devices that can track steps, sleep and other activities. The mobile app, called Microsoft Health tracks your health information in one place from the armband and screenshots also detail GPS functionality for running with the... This story continues at The Next Web

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EE has announced that its 4G users in London are set to get a speed boost from today, following the switching on of its ‘4G+’ network in the capital. Also known as LTE-Advanced (or LTE-A), the faster network will offer downloads speeds of up to 150Mbps, the company said. Initially, the 4G+ service will only be available to users in central London, but it’ll be expanded to cover Greater London and “the UK’s busiest cities” in 2015. Details, details… Average speeds should be around the 90Mbps mark for users with a compatible (Cat 6) device and plan (4GEE Extra or... This story continues at The Next Web

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Gamers and Peter Jacksons of the world rejoice, YouTube is now offering high framerate videos. We already knew the feature was coming, as 48fps and 60fps support were both announced at VidCon earlier this year, but as Kotaku spotted, this is the first time the feature is available to the public. You need to watch the videos in HD in order to get 60fps, and it only works in Chrome and Safari so far, but it sure does look silky smooth. ➤ YouTube Finally Supports 60FPS, And It Looks Awesome [Kotaku]  

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After multiple leaks over the past few months, Google’s new Stars interface for the Chrome Bookmark Manager has launched on the Chrome Web store. Downloading the extension completely replaced Chrome’s old bookmarks interface, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you’re thinking of installing. Once you’ve signed into Chrome and enabled sync, the new extension adds a modern interface to the Bookmark Manager and automatically grabs images when you “star” a page from the URL bar. Clicking the star pulls up a preview of the bookmark and lets you choose a folder to assign it to. The extension also... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google is updating its Google Drive Android app with a new Material Design look, as well as a few new features. First is a small improvement to its search tool – it now updates the results while you’re typing to save you some time while looking for a document. Next up, you can now add messages when you share a file to give details about why you’re sharing, as well as change privacy sharing for files. Finally, the PDF viewer is getting an update to let you search for and copy text from a PDF without needing to enter a separate... This story continues at The Next Web

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In a blog post today (currently down), Google announced it was introducing some new features for its Google Wallet apps. The main change is the ability to add money to your Wallet through recurring bank transfers, ensuring you always have some money in your account. You can choose from weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly options, and you can cancel the transactions at any time. Additionally, you can new set up low balance alerts to keep track of your funds. It’s an interesting move by Google as it looks to expand the capabilities of Wallet – what first started as a simple tool to pay... This story continues at The Next Web

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It has not been a good week for MCX, the company behind the QR-code powered CurrentC. After being the source of anger by many NFC-payment enthusiasts (most of them new because of Apple Pay) because partners were disabling NFC, the company was hacked and email accounts were compromised. So today, it hosted a virtual press conference to answer many reporter’s questions about what exactly is going on. According to TechCrunch, during the press conference MCX says the hack was the fault of an email vendor and that there are no fines on partner vendors that accept NFC payments. The New York Times... This story continues at The Next Web

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