posted 6 days ago on the next web
On July 31, photographers will finally be able to wrap their hands around the Lytro Illum, the world’s first pro-level light field camera. Unlike the DSLRs that everyone is now used to, the Illum lets you create what Lytro calls “living pictures,” derived from the camera’s sensor and lens, specialized software and 3D graphics. Together, these create a novel, immersive visual platform. The most compelling aspect of living pictures is their interactivity. Because the camera shoots images with information on the direction, color and intensity of the light rays, viewers can later shift the focus, tilt, perspective, and depth of field to different subjects in a frame on... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
This post originally appeared on the Crew blog. You’ve heard people say you need to get out of your comfort zone, right? You need to stretch yourself, they say. It’ll be good for you. Everyone seems to agree with this idea, but what do we actually know about the comfort zone? Aside from the fact that this seems to be true: Okay, but what is the comfort zone really and why should we leave it? Let’s do a little digging to find out. What is the comfort zone? The most scientific explanation of what a comfort zone is relates it to anxiety... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Today, Google’s François Beaufort dropped a screenshot of a new Material Design-inspired first draft of Chrome OS on Google+. Like Android L, the Chromium OS screenshot is all about the flat design aesthetic. First noticed by 9to5Google, the screengrab is a collection of browser windows showing off window management. While these are noted to be “experiments” by Beaufort, its an interesting look into what could be the next version of Chrome OS. Codenamed, Athena, you can download the source code and try it out yourself via the Chromium OS pre-release builds. ➤ François Beaufort

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Microsoft today detailed what gamers can expect in the next Xbox One update, which is expected to arrive in August. There are eight additions and changes the company has highlighted: activity feed updates, expanded Friends area on Home, mobile purchases, low battery notification, disable notifications during video, 3D Blu-ray, OneGuide in more countries, and last seen time in Friends list. First up, the activity feed interface is being changed to a single column scrolling list “that is longer and includes more content.” Gamers will gain the ability to post text to their feed, to “like” and comment on feed items,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Remember Yo? Of course you do. Well, the single-button, zero-character communication tool that hogged headlines for weeks has just announced Pete Cashmore and Betaworks have participated in its $1.5 million seed-stage round. Betaworks, a seed-stage VC firm and startup studio based out of New York, made a separate announcement earlier today. And it seems that John Borthwick, CEO at Betaworks, has been a big fan of the service for months. “At the end of May, Matt Hartman invited Or Arbel, the co-founder of Yo, to visit Betaworks, and we started using the Yo app,” he says. “Since then, Yo has... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Dell today announced it has started accepting Bitcoin for all items available on Dell.com (including Alienware products). The company says it is “piloting” the digital currency for consumer and small business shoppers in the US; presumably if the test goes well, the option will be expanded internationally. Dell teamed up with Bitcoin payment processor Coinbase to provide the new payment option. Dell touted the two managed to add Bitcoin support to Dell.com in just 14 days while Coinbase declared that Dell is “the largest ecommerce company to officially accept Bitcoin, with nearly $60 billion in annual sales.” Paying with Bitcoin... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
This post originally appeared on the Buffer blog. There’s a saying you’ll often hear around Buffer’s content team: “There’s probably a plugin for that!” We’re often chasing new ways to work smarter, faster and more productively—and the same is true of our Buffer blog. We’re quick to grab any and all WordPress plugins that can give the blog an extra edge or can wire up a feature we’d love to test. Whenever we dream something up to try on the blog, the first place we turn is WordPress plugins. We’ve collected quite the list of favorites. How about you? As we’ve tried and tested new plugins on the... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
You would’ve been forgiven for thinking Google Alerts were a thing of the past, but back in January the internet giant gave the popular notifications service a significant lick of paint, representing its first notable upgrade in a while. But now, Google Alerts has been given what could be described as its biggest aesthetic overhaul yet. The first thing you see when you access the page is a giant search box followed by your current alerts, which can be deleted or edited on the spot. Search & Current Alerts You’ll also now see a list of suggested alerts directly below... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Virgin TV’s mobile-focused Anywhere service launched way back in 2012, and today the media company has announced that it’s now available for Kindle Fire users too. Virgin TV Anywhere is aimed squarely a TiVO customers, letting them watch live TV and control their TiVo box remotely. Thus far, it’s been restricted to Android and iOS users, but now those on Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which uses a forked version of the Android operating system, can get involved too. ➤ Virgin TV Anywhere | Amazon App Store

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Xiaochang Li is the cofounder of Somaware, an eyes-free, ears-free, hands-free wearable navigation device. This post is part of the Lessons Learned series featuring NYU entrepreneurs’ first-hand accounts of challenges faced in starting a business and the lessons learned along the way. One of the first things I noticed when my co-founder, Mike, and I began speaking to people about tactile navigation devices was how just about everyone had ideas about what (and whom) they could be useful for. It was encouraging, of course, to see that people not only understood what we were trying to do, but also found the idea compelling enough to begin imagining their own... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Local and national police forces around the world have been using social media for a while already, with varying degrees of success. But one local UK police force is taking to a rather unlikely social network to better engage with the public. While the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Instagram have long been used as public broadcasting platforms by many authorities, Snapchat has now emerged as an unlikely addition to this list. The UK’s West Midlands Police says it is the “first force in the world to join Snapchat”, and while that claim is difficult to verify, it’s certainly... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Microsoft’s grand ambitions for original TV content are over. Yesterday, the company confirmed it would be closing Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. Some projects will continue, such as the Signal to Noise documentary series and Spielberg-produced Halo television show, but otherwise Xbox Originals is dead. It’s hardly surprising. A report by Recode suggests the studio, established in September 2012, is “disorganized” and “struggling” to clinch important business deals. Dawn Chmielewski paints quite a bleak picture in her article, but of greater importance is the business rationale behind Microsoft’s original television aspirations. Unlike Netflix, the company wanted its Originals library –... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
It seems the rumors were very much true. Amazon has just announced a new monthly subscription service for reading an unlimited number of books on your Kindle or via the Kindle app for iOS and Android. The bad news, however, is that it’s only open for business in the US for now. But nonetheless, this is a huge step for the internet giant, as it covers north of 600,000 books from its gargantuan library. It will of course be better suited to heavy-readers – those who read at least two or three books a month. It’s worth noting here that... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Lindsay Comstock is a New York-based writer, photographer, and editor. Her work has appeared in American Photo, PDN, and Rangefinder. This post was originally published on the Shutterstock blog and has been adapted with permission.  Making hand-inked notes may not be at the top of everyone’s to-do list, but the art of ornamental design remains a captivating one. Spotlighting design elements for Valentines, invitations, and personalized cards, we’ve rounded up five contributors who are creating ideal artwork for your paper-based embellishments. Illustrator, vector artist, and videographer Ozerina Anna leads the pack with her vintage-inspired labels, while Transia Design rounds things off with ethnic-inspired designs. Ozerina Anna Ozerina... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Fresh from the news that Microsoft is preparing to cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next 12 months, many of whom were taken on with the recent Nokia acquisition, it seems plans are afoot to spin-out at least one specific Nokia product as a standalone service. Nokia MixRadio, a curated radio-style audio service that pivoted from its Nokia Music-branding last November, has generally received positive reviews since launch, despite it being restricted to Windows Phone in the mobile realm. Now, as the Guardian reports, it will likely become a separate company with those involved currently seeking financial backing from... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
British satellite broadcaster BSkyB already has an arsenal of mobile offerings designed to help you watch movies and TV shows on the move. Now, it’s looking to help you manage your Sky account on the go too. Sky Service for Android and iPhone is a new app that lets you check and pay your bill, change settings, and even manage any planned engineer visits. There’s also an in-app service status feature to help circumvent any reception issues you’re having.     The Sky Service app also lets customers: Check and review their Sky subscriptions, reset their TV PIN, check and change... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
China’s Xiaomi isn’t the only smartphone upstart that’s all set to enter India. Jolla, the Finland-based company that took over Nokia’s Meego mobile OS project, has announced plans to bring its €399 ($540) Sailfish OS device to the country within the next month, in partnership with e-commerce firm Snapdeal. Jolla phones went on sale across Europe last December and the company has targeted China right from its inception in 2011, but India and its 1.2 billion population is also a key focus. “India is the rising smartphone market of the world,” said Jolla co-founder and CMO Sami Pienimäkiin statement. “We have received a tremendous amount... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
A new ‘hackathon’ is aiming to use the brains and innovation in Silicon Valley to find new ways to deliver information into North Korea. Current initiatives for smuggling information into the communist country include balloons carrying USBs, radio broadcasts and smuggling leaflets, but the Disrupt North Korea event – arranged by New York-based non-profit The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) — aims to tap into tech minds (there will be no actual hacking) to “disrupt the dictatorship’s information monopoly”. The event will be attended by a number of activists and prominent defectors who will give participants background information and other contextual details to help seed ideas. There is no confirmed... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
Video newscast startup Watchup has officially launched on Android phones, joining existing apps on iOS, Android tablets and Google Glass. The app offers channels of news-related video content from a range of publishers. As you watch, Watchup learns what you like and compiles a daily newscast with recommended videos. Watchup announced the news at the Turner/Warner Bros. Media Camp demo day. The startup recently rolled out a premium service in partnership with The Wall Street Journal, Euronews, Sky News, TheStreet.com, The Washington Post, Fox News and Fox Business. In addition to Turner’s Media Camp, Watchup is backed by Stanford-StartX and Microsoft Ventures.

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
Sony’s PlayStation 4 again took the top spot for retail game console sales in NPD’s market research estimates for June, widening its lead on the Xbox One. The PS4 also beat out its rival for retail software sales, placing as the top platform for some of the most popular games including Watch Dogs, UFC and FIFA 14. Console sales across all platforms were up 200 percent year over year, and the Xbox One and the PS4 combined to sell 80 percent more units than their predecessors during the period. Nintendo had some good news in June after its Mario Kart 8 game... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
Today, Evernote updated its Web Clipper Chrome extension with what it calls a more “thoughtful layout.” The updated extension’s footprint has been reduced by only showing relevant features at a moment. The floating control panel resides in the top right hand corner of your browser window with the Save button prominently displayed within all features when needed. For fans of screenshots and annotations, those tools are hidden until needed and saved images can be quickly shared to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email and a link copied to your clipboard. Additional features include integration into Evernote notebooks and tags via a drop-down... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
Notching up an Apple Design Award is nothing to be sniffed at. Family-run design studio Tapity won the prestigious gong way back in 2011 for its education-focused Grades app, before going on to launch an equally stupendous follow-up in conjunction with Sonico the following year called languages. Earlier this year, Tapity also launched a Flappy Bird-style game called Buffalo Wings. Today, Tapity introduced its latest iOS offering going by the name of Hours, which is a really beautiful and sleek time-tracking app for iPhone. While anyone with a need to manage multiple timelines will find this useful, it’s perhaps more... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
One of the most vexing aspects of shooting hand-held video is the twitchy, jumpy footage it often produces. Poor image stabilization, or none at all, will ruin a shoot by making the results impossible to watch. Stupeflix’s Steady for iPhone, released today, lets you shoot stable video in square or 16:9 recording formats while walking, running, riding a bike or any other moving activity via a simple set of controls within the app. Point, choose flash or no flash, and front or back camera, and then hit the big red button to start recording. That’s it. Choose which parts of the video are in slow-mo. While you... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
Twitter today announced it has acquired payments infrastructure company CardSpring. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Currently there is no indication Twitter will be shutting down operations before folding them in. CardSpring says it will continue to grow its platform and work with its publisher, financial, and retail partners “to create new, innovative commerce experiences for consumers.” CardSpring wants to build a payment platform that enables digital publishers and retailers to create the next generation of commerce for hundreds of millions of offline shoppers: We see the intersection of payments and digital media as an opportunity to revolutionize... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
This post originally appeared on the Buffer blog. At any given time, I have a side project running. It’s often a new blog or a Tumblr or a book or a newsletter. Sometimes I try to design WordPress themes. Other times I try photography. This ethos of new projects and new improvements runs throughout our Buffer team. We love to find ways to grow, excel, and improve through side projects and hobbies. I have yet to create the next Uber or Gmail—million-dollar and million-user enterprises that began as side projects. The good news: You don’t have to create a million-dollar company to... This story continues at The Next Web

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