posted 7 days ago on the next web
Klout notified users of its Cinch question-and-answer app in an email today that it will discontinue the service on April 18th at 12pm PST. Cinch launched last September in an effort to help Klout users tap their influencer and expert graphs for advice. For the few of you still using the Cinch app, Klout recommends that you use Jelly or Yabbly. Last month, Klout announced that it is being acquired by social marketing company Lithium Technologies.

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Uber recently began adding a $1 “Safe Rides Fee” for UberX ridesharing trips on its platform. Users have been receiving the following message in the app: While the nature of the fee remains disconcertingly vague, the money appears to be going toward insurance costs for UberX drivers, which operate in some markets with a personal license and insurance, unlike UberTaxi and Uber Black services, which require commercial licenses. Uber cut Uberx prices in many of its cities earlier this year. While the extra $1 isn’t a huge burden on costs, the charge does feel  un-Uber, as the company has advertised... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced that it has sold over 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers around the globe, but sales of the system have still lagged behind rival Sony’s PlayStation 4. By comparison, Sony revealed on Wednesday that PS4 sales had topped 7 million in sales to consumers. March US sales estimates from NPD put the PS4 in first place for hardware sales for the third month in a row. Both Microsoft and Sony (inFamous Second Son, Titanfall) saw major exclusives released on their platforms last month. Titanfall’s combined Xbox One and PC release took the top spot in game... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google’s ATAP team and NASA are using the Project Tango smartphone with 3D motion tracking to help navigate robots in the International Space Station. The smartphone’s Myriad 1 vision processor chip is capable of making a quarter millions 3D measurements per second. It uses those measurements and creates a map of its surroundings. By attaching a Project Tango smartphone with those mapping capabilities to a SPHERES robot, the autonomous balls can navigate though the space station and perform low-level duties that would usually fall to the astronauts. While floating in the zero-gravity environment, the smartphone will construct a 3D map... This story continues at The Next Web

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Si Shen is the founder and CEO of PapayaMobile, a global mobile company. This article originally appeared on LinkedIn and was republished with permission. As the founder and CEO of PapayaMobile, headquartered in the rapidly growing technology scene from what some call the Silicon Valley of China – also known as Zhongguancun – I’ve been living and breathing China’s tech industry, which at face value has been a rabidly risk-averse Chinese tech culture. Then, in 2013, a sudden mad dash among these Chinese companies began, each jockeying to be recognized and taken seriously as a global company. As early as 2012... This story continues at The Next Web

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When you need to share an image with a giant pink arrow with a friend or the Internet at large, you turn to Evernote’s Skitch app. The photo-marking app features tools to quickly annotate images with text, arrows, drawings, and more. Today’s update will share those images quicker. The update brings three sharing categories that appear below an image after it has been filled with arrows and pithy remarks. Swipe left to land on the Meetings option to share the image with attendees of scheduled meetings. The center option, Share lets you publish the image to Twitter, Facebook, Mail and... This story continues at The Next Web

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Amazon today announced Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime will be adding support for their full catalogs into Fire TV‘s unified voice search feature “starting this summer.” The trio join Vevo, which supported the feature from the start to let users find videos without any typing. The Fire TV naturally also supports Amazon’s own movie, TV show, and music video selections. “We’re excited and energized by the momentum we’re seeing with Fire TV,” Amazon Devices Vice President Dave Limp said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Hulu Plus, Crackle, and SHOWTIME integrating their full selection of movies and TV... This story continues at The Next Web

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A tiny subset of photography apps has slowly emerged from the vast pack on Apple’s app store to offer an alternative multimedia experience, a hybrid of stills and video: Images with sound. Soundpix, a free app released today by Laughing Giraffe Technologies, gives you the auditory pleasure of your cat’s meow or your kid telling their absent sibling where to go (nicely, of course) without having to view tedious, poorly shot video footage. Soundpix is not the first app out there to embrace this concept. Shuttersong, for example, lets you attach a music file to your image, while AudioSnaps offers... This story continues at The Next Web

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Heroku today launched a bug bounty program in conjunction with Bugcrowd. Rewards range between $100 and $1,500, with the amount being completely based on the severity of the vulnerability. If a security researcher shows interest in donating their bounty to a recognized charity, Heroku promises to match it dollar-for-dollar. Customer apps are out of scope for the bounty, but Heroku promises to pass information along if security researchers inform the company anyway. “Working with security researchers to ensure the trustworthiness of Heroku’s platform is an ongoing effort of ours,” the company says. Until now, Heroku has merely listed security researchers... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced the launch of a pilot program that lets Windows Phone developers respond to app reviews. The company says the roll-out will begin this week with a small group of developers who have been pre-selected to participate, though it didn’t say based on what criteria. Developers will be able to respond to reviews posted from Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices, in the US only for now. Once a developer posts a response, users will receive the comment via an email from Microsoft. They can then choose to a) ignore the email b) respond to the... This story continues at The Next Web

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David Hassell is the CEO of 15Five. This post originally appeared on the 15five blog. Have you ever wondered why, when you leave a two-hour meeting you usually have very little retention of what was said? An onslaught of stimuli and information comes our way every day. Why do our minds label some of it as important, and the rest becomes no more memorable than this morning’s Starbucks experience? Lack of focus is not due to too much TV as a child, it’s a function of our Reticular Activating System (also called the extrathalamic control modulatory system, but let’s just call it... This story continues at The Next Web

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Following Dropbox’s acquisition of Loom, collaborative document editing service Hackpad has announced that it is joining the company. Unlike Loom, however, Hackpad will continue to support its product, which enables users to work together on a document in real-time on the Web and an iOS app. ➤ Hackpad is teaming up with Dropbox Image credit: Dropbox in 30 minutes / Flickr

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Facebook today launched Nearby Friends, a new option in the company’s main app for Android and iOS rolling out “over the coming weeks” in the US. The feature lets you see which friends are close to you, assuming that both you and the other party have enabled the functionality first. Before we dig in, it’s important to note where in the Facebook app you can access Nearby Friends. You’ll have to tap the “More” icon in the bottom-right corner, and hit “Nearby Friends” located just above “Nearby Places.” If you have already turned the feature on, you can also access... This story continues at The Next Web

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Cloud photo storage service Loom announced today that it has been acquired by Dropbox. Loom is no longer accepting new users, and existing customers can keep using Loom until May 16. The firm will offer an option to export data over to Dropbox. Dropbox announced Carousel, its own photo storage app that was similar to Loom, last week. Loom users that switch to Carousel will receive the an equivalent allotment of data from Dropbox, with paid users receiving free upgraded storage for a year. More to follow

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Optimizely, a website optimization platform, has launched a beta of its iOS testing tools, which allow technical and non-technical users to optimize native apps for Apple devices. The mobile A/B app testing platform allows developers to make changes to the UI and update content in real-time, and then push those changes to the app without needing to wait for App Store review, the company said. Additionally, for more heavy duty updates, such as the addition of completely new features, the platform can be used to gradually test and roll out the new features to just a few users, rather than rolling... This story continues at The Next Web

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Good quality social and networking scenes are key to any growing startup ecosystem. Just ask Jessica Lawrence, executive director of organization behind the long-running New York Tech Meetup. In fact we did ask her, in advance of her session on ‘Building Better Companies’ at The Next Web Europe Conference next week in Amsterdam. Lawrence moved to New York City after a stint running a division of the Girl Scouts in southern California. “It was a wonderful non-profit organization in a lot of ways, but it wasn’t a very supportive place to work, it wasn’t very innovative” she says. After working... This story continues at The Next Web

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Nitrous.IO, a 500 Startups-backed backend development platform, prides itself on helping software developers save time by cutting out the repetitive parts of creating development environments and automating them. The company lets developers who build Web applications using Ruby, Node.js, Python, and Go programming languages take advantage of its platform to create a testing environment. Now it is actively bringing this ease of access to code repositories, tutorials and open source apps such as Github via a ‘Hack’ button. This means anyone who creates code can now let developers test it immediately by embedding this button on their blog, tutorial or... This story continues at The Next Web

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MLB.TV is the latest live streaming service to add Chromecast support, letting premium subscribers and their friends watch live, out-of-market games. You can download the new MLB.com At Bat app now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store, both of which should be updated with Chromecast functionality today. Casting a live Major League Baseball game straight to your TV is as simple as tapping the cast button. While casting, you can still use your phone or tablet to check scores, stats, and news. Best of all, you can choose between home or away broadcasts to “steer clear of the... This story continues at The Next Web

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One space in tech that is not broadly covered, but is super interesting, is education. Finnish media and learning giant Sanoma ($3 billion revenue in 2013) organised a Startup Challenge to find the most interesting EdTech companies in Europe. Over a hundred companies, from 24 countries, joined the competition. Now five companies battle for the $35k check that Sanoma is awarding to the winner. The five companies are: Wewanttoknow (Norway) creates learning solutions based on games, teaching difficult subjects in an easy, quick, fun and effective way. EduKey (Wales) improves student behavior in schools seating by offering seating charts &... This story continues at The Next Web

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General Assembly, the New York-based startup that offers educational courses in web development, UX design and other technology-related skills, today launched a scholarship program to train individuals from underrepresented groups. Called the Opportunity Fund, General Assembly is starting out with a small pilot for 17 students in the ‘Big Apple’. The company has allocated $170,000 in total and already attracted support from some of the biggest names in the technology industry. Microsoft will be focused on scholarships for veterans while Google, through its Google for Entrepreneurs program, supports women on the scheme. “Women-led tech companies achieve 35 percent higher return on... This story continues at The Next Web

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RunKeeper is expanding beyond running with Breeze, a new iPhone 5s app for tracking how many steps you take in a day via the smartphone’s M7 co-processor. While the main RunKeeper app is a staple among fitness enthusiasts, Breeze is designed with us sedentary folks in mind. The app’s interface has a beautiful, calming look that’s worthy of iOS 7. Breeze is iPhone 5s only because it relies on the special M7 motion processor that Apple included in its latest phone. The M7 logs data like steps taken in the background without waking up the more power-hungry A7 chip, allowing... This story continues at The Next Web

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There has been no shortage of polling apps launched in the past few years and one of the most interesting was Poutsch (we called it “Quora for polls“) but with a name that was difficult to pronounce and spell for many English speakers, it was bound to struggle. So, today it’s relaunching as Voice. While Poutsch felt very much ‘desktop first’ with an ‘encyclopedia of polls’-type approach and a simplified iOS app, Voice is putting the mobile experience front-and-center. Firstly, the iOS app (nothing for Android or Windows Phone yet) feels perfectly in step with the new desktop website. Both... This story continues at The Next Web

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I’ve tried going digital-only for all off my note-taking needs, but in the end I always revert back to pen. It’s the physical act of writing something down that helps me to remember. Evernote tackled the problem over a year ago by developing ‘Smart Notebooks‘ with Moleskine. Now it’s back with an upgrade for enterprise customers, aptly called the ‘Evernote Business Notebook’. The key difference is that each page is separated into different sections, giving you the option to share only a part of your handwritten notes with other people. In practise, this means each sheet of paper is divided... This story continues at The Next Web

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Sean Mitchell is an interactive designer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the editor of TypeRelease. Another month means another set of beautiful typefaces for you to check out. Here were our favorites from March. Sudtipos: Courtesy Script Pro Courtesy Script Pro captures the elegance and propriety of finely practiced Spencerian penmanship. The Northern Block: Rein Grotesk Rein Grotesk is a low contrast typeface with a strong, neutral personality. Hoefler & Co: Surveyor A monumental family of typefaces designed for print and screen. Stawix: Crique Grotesk Crique Grotesk is inspired by neo–humanist and geometric industrial tones. Yellow Design Studio: Gist Rough Gist Rough... This story continues at The Next Web

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Twitter wants to make its short-form social network the premier place for advertisers, brands and developers to market their products. To that end, the company today introduced a new tweet format that includes a prominent app download link. It’s currently being tested in private beta and gives Twitter advertisers a new way to encourage downloads across different mobile app marketplaces. Twitter says the new feature leverages both Promoted Tweets and Twitter Cards to show these promotions as a “rich, native ad unit.” Spotify, HotelTonight, Kabam, and Deezer have been testing the tool as early beta partners and Twitter, not surprisingly,... This story continues at The Next Web

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