posted 7 days ago on the next web
Brian Solis is principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. He’s also a digital anthropologist and futurist who studies and the effects of emerging technology on business and society. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in tech these days. It’s part of our life now and in many ways, it is our life. Obviously, if you didn’t care about what’s new or what’s next you wouldn’t be here. This is The Next Web after all. The thing about next tech though is that it’s not only inevitable, it’s also incredibly disruptive…or at least it could be. Social,... This story continues at The Next Web

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The Project Ara developers conference is Google’s smartphone-experiment show and tell. The search-giant turned hardware-vendor may want to get its new modular smartphone in the hands of the entire world, but it needs to get developers to build the tiny hardware plugins. Google told The Next Web that there were over 300 attendees and approximately 3,000 concurrent live stream viewers during the opening day of the conference – good start for something that won’t actually ship until sometime in 2015. Many in the audience seemed excited, or at least intrigued by the prospect of developing hardware for a new smartphone... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 7 days ago on the next web
WordPress.org today announced the debut of WordPress 3.9, which adds a slew of “refinements” to the blog management tool. You can download the new release now from WordPress.org/Download (it’s 6.0MB). Dubbed “Smith” in honor of African-American jazz musician Jimmy Smith, WordPress 3.9 is supposed to give users a better understanding of how their content will look once it is published. The team has put together a video to show it off: The new features are as follows: Improved visual editing: The new visual editor has improved speed, accessibility, and mobile support. You can paste into it from your word processor... This story continues at The Next Web

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Sangeet Paul Choudary is the author of the blog Platform Thinking. Patrick Vlaskovits is a NYT bestseller author and CEO of Superpowered. Welcome to the age of the zero-dollar marketing startup. WhatsApp, and earlier Instagram, have officially become a permanent part of startup lore for having built multi-billion dollar businesses without (reportedly) spending a dime on marketing. Meanwhile, Airbnb has grown from a hipster community of mattress-renters to the world’s largest provider of accommodations without spending even a fraction of what traditional hotel chains spend in marketing. Marketing is dead! Or that’s what many would have you believe. A great product sells... This story continues at The Next Web

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Samsung has rolled out a bumper crop of wearable devices in conjunction with its latest flagship, the Galaxy S5 — two Gear smartwatches and the Gear Fit fitness band. As someone who has never worn a wearable device up till now, I’ve realized that the tricky part about wearables is that they have to be relevant enough to a user’s daily life. After all, why pay a couple of hundred dollars for a device that draws out certain functions of your phone if you still have to bring your phone around? We put Samsung’s newest crop of wearable devices through... This story continues at The Next Web

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Ben Thompson, the Taiwan-based American writer behind popular tech blog Stratechery, has quit his day job to become a full-time blogger. Aside from leaving Automattic, the company behind WordPress where he was employed, Thompson is super-charging his site with a new freemium business model and a podcast. Thompson will continue to post two “fairly long” articles a week — which will be sponsored, in a similar way to Apple blogger John Gruber’s Daring Fireball site — but he is also launching an ambitious three-tier membership system to turn his passion into his living. Readers can pay $5 per month (or... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google today launched a Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android, which lets you remotely control your computer using your smartphone or tablet. You can download the new app now directly from Google Play. The app’s description says you can “securely access your computers from your Android device” but doesn’t elaborate on the security features. Instructions are fairly straightforward though: On each of your Windows or Mac computers, set up remote access using the Chrome Remote Desktop app from the Chrome Web Store. On your Android device, open the app and tap on any of your online computers to connect. Chrome... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google today released its stock Google Camera app (via Android Police) for Android users running Kit Kat. The app includes a new mode, Lens Blur, for that fancy bokeh effect, as well as support for Photo Spheres and Panoramas. Other changes include UI improvements and a 100% viewfinder with no dropped pixels. You’ll need Android 4.4 KitKat or later to install the app, but the good news is that you can now get camera updates directly from Google Play now instead of having to wait for your phone maker and carrier to send over an update. ➤ Google Camera for Android Image... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced Outlook.com users can now import email from IMAP-enabled email providers, including Yahoo Mail. The addition is part of the service’s import wizard, which lets you keep your old email addresses, but manage them all from one place Outlook.com. To import your Yahoo Mail into Outlook.com, navigate to Options and then click “Import email accounts.” Microsoft has added a specific option for Yahoo, so select it, enter your Yahoo email address, you’re your password, and then click Import. Doing this will set up your Yahoo email address as a “send from” account, meaning you can use Outlook.com to... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today launched a new personalized cards feature on Bing.com that is meant to help you “keep track of things that matter to you.” So far, the site offers cards for news, weather, flights, and stocks tailored specifically to you. Using the feature will naturally require that you sign in to your Microsoft account, and set up your interests to let Bing know what it should track. Then, when it’s appropriate (or so Microsoft says), Bing will display a relevant card, such as when your stock changes or flight is delayed. If this sounds like Google Now, that’s because it... This story continues at The Next Web

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More than eight months after it first launched on iOS, Frontback is finally bringing its photo-sharing app to Android too. The core raison d’être of Frontback is simple – it lets you snap a picture with both the front- and rear-facing cameras, and then stick them together in a single image. You can also add short messages, mention friends you’re with and include hashtags, then share across all the usual social outlets.     While the Android version is more or less the same as the iOS incarnation, there is a brand-new feature in tow here – offline mode. This means... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google today expanded its test of +Post ads, a new type of monetization for its social network that lets brands turn Google+ content into display ads. At the same time, Google is piloting two new features: promoted Hangouts on Air and automatic post promotion. The new advertising format is now available to all advertisers who meet the following requirements: They have a Google+ page with at least 1,000 followers. They are using a post that contains content relevant to their audience. They have opted in to shared endorsements for Google+ pages. As for the two new features, Google says they... This story continues at The Next Web

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If you’re an investor and look for dealflow in Europe, I have good news for you. We’ve done all the work, you only have to cherrypick. For Boost, our new startup program in cooperation with WeTransfer, we’ve interviewed over 400 European startups in the past months, 99 of them are selected to demo their services, products and technologies at TNW Europe Conference. To make it even better for investors, we’ve gathered all pitch decks so you can browse through all the opportunities. Of course you’ll want to meet up with some of these hot startups, so we got that covered... This story continues at The Next Web

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George Deeb is the Managing Partner at Chicago-based Red Rocket Ventures, a startup consulting and financial advisory firm based in Chicago.  Typically, entrepreneurs start their own business. But, from time to time, they will see a unique opportunity to join somebody else’s startup, either as investing CEO or as a new member of the executive team. Here are five things you need to assess before making the leap: 1. Your fit with the founders Your fit with the team in terms of skill set and personality is obvious enough. It is important you can get along with your new partners,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Baydin, the company behind the Boomerang for Gmail apps, has announced today that its native Android app now offers support for Microsoft Exchange accounts. Available since June last year, the Android build has always been pretty handy at helping users deal with their inbox, but the omission of Exchange support on mobile devices would have ruled it out for people that wanted to manage work and personal accounts. Now, that’s not a problem any more. The company said the app will support customizable gestures and features like snooze, send later and response tracking. Users can also search Microsoft Exchange accounts,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Real-time media sharing app DabKick has branched out beyond its one-on-one focus with the addition of public “DabKick Rooms” for consuming content with other users. The service will start off with a single curated room that will play free content around the clock. In the future, DabKick envisions adding specific rooms for celebrities and artists to interact with their fans. It also hopes to work with content distributors, such as Comcast, on rooms that would require logins to view TV content. DabKick also said it will soon introduce private rooms that users can create to watch videos and share photos.... This story continues at The Next Web

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Versus, the minimalist ‘comparison engine’ we previously covered when it launched on the Web as Versus IO back in 2012, hits Android today with an app that lets you compare any two gadgets instantly. Whether you want to see how the Samsung Galaxy S5 compares against the HTC One (M8) or just want some help deciding whether it’s better to buy a pair of earphones or a tablet computer today, Versus is a handy tool. You can actually search for cities, academic institutions and more too. If you’ve ever wanted to compare King’s College London to some Beats headphones, now’s... This story continues at The Next Web

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It is widely believed that while successful tech companies build good products, the real innovation comes from those that build new markets. A typical example of this would be Apple, which can take most of the credit for the mobile app and tablet markets as we know them today. The most exciting thing about technology is that once in a while it makes possible something that we could not even imagine a year or two before, opening endless possibilities for both consumers and businesses. Starting with the invention of the electricity, to radio, to the Internet — every breakthrough of that... This story continues at The Next Web

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Superb has successfully completed its pivot away from social dining service Grubwithus after officially launching its new iPhone app for finding new places to visit with friends. An early version of the app with basic functionality has been in the App Store for some time now, but the firm’s latest release adds the messaging and social features needed to complete the product. Conceptually, Superb functions as a “Tinder for places” by showing you cards of nearby places and then having you swipe left to dismiss or swipe right to mark as “to do.” Once you’ve expressed interest in a place,... This story continues at The Next Web

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With revelations about mass spying and a crippling widespread security flaw affecting two-thirds of the Web, it’s little surprise services and devices that put security and privacy before all else are seeing a groundswell of support. However, despite there being a number of smaller name mobile makers nibbling away at the corners of the market, many of them – even the open source efforts like Firefox OS and security-focused Blackphone – aren’t designed in a way to fix the essential problem: the user never really owns or has control of their data. Aral Balkan, founder of Indie Phone and upcoming speaker... This story continues at The Next Web

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Fleksy is making a bigger push for international markets with the latest version of its smart keyboard app for Android. With version 2.1, Fleksy now caters for additional keyboard layout options including AZERTY, QWERTZ, and QZERTY, while it’s also adding Swedish, Hungarian, Danish, Slovak, and Czech to its arsenal of supported languages. This takes its total number of tongues to fifteen. Additionally, QWERTY-alternative keyboard layouts DVORAK and Colemak are also now supported.     Fleksy says two thirds of its downloads have come from outside the US, and it has been adding support for one new language a week since launch,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Social conversation platform Livefyre released today Sidenotes, a new feature that lets publishers add in-line comment threads to their sites. Livefyre has also integrated Sidenotes into Storify, marking the first major product integration to the service, which it acquired last Fall. Sidenotes works by attaching comments to each paragraph of an article or piece of content. Users can highlight specific text to comment on or reply to other responses. The pop-up box updates in real-time and ranks comments based on the number of upvotes they have received. Annotations were one of the first products that Livefyre tested as a young... This story continues at The Next Web

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Starting from today, social reading platform Goodreads is making it easier for you to add your Amazon book purchases to your virtual bookshelves. Users in the US, Canada and Australia will be able to add both print books and Kindle books to their shelves automatically. Indeed, you’ll see an ‘Add Amazon Book Purchases’ link in the Tools list on the left of your ‘My Books’ page, and once you’ve signed in with your Amazon credentials, you’ll be able to go through all your past purchases, rating each one and select the relevant shelf for it. Amazon acquired Goodreads in March... This story continues at The Next Web

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Algorithmic social ranking service PeerIndex has been building an arsenal of tools over the past few years, designed to bring meaning to the social data malaise. Yes, PeerIndex wants to be a every digital marketer’s best friend. We’ve written about the London-based startup on a number of occasions in the past, for example when it launched PeerIndex Groups back in 2011, before integrating with SocialBro and then rolling out a new topical influence API. Broadly speaking, PeerIndex’s technology tracks activity across the social realm, evaluating users’ online ‘social capital’ based on the activity of each individual. Now, the company has... This story continues at The Next Web

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As BBC Three prepares to become an online-only destination from next year, the UK broadcaster is already making moves to position the Web-based incarnation ahead of the offline ‘linear’ broadcast channel. In a Netflix-style move, all six episodes of Chris Lilley’s Jonah From Tonga, a new series from the same writer behind the magnificent Angry Boys and Summer Heights High, will be made available on iPlayer from May 2 for a 48-hour period. It will then be broadcast through the traditional televisual conduit from May 8. The move constitutes part of an international simulcast with ABC Australia’s iPlayer-style iview service.... This story continues at The Next Web

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