posted 8 days ago on the next web
In the never-ending quest to take control of email, many have tried — but few have succeeded — in automatically separating out the critical from the negligible. Part of the problem is that we ourselves can’t sort out our priorities consistently, no less rely on algorithms to do so. Google has judged itself up to this task, however and this morning it released Inbox — an app currently available by special invite only — to take on the email organizing challenge. Because Inbox is built by the Gmail team, all messages remain in your regular Gmail mailbox as well, except that in... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
The streaming music game is tough. So tough that Microsoft is retiring the free (ad supported) version of its Xbox Music streaming service. The feature will stop streaming ad-supported music on December 1, 2014 for Windows 8.0 and 8.1 devices. Microsoft explains why it’s pulling the plug on the service in a FAQ: We are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers. With Xbox Music Pass, you have access to millions of songs on your PC, tablet, Xbox, phone, and the web. Download music for offline listening and create playlists that... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Mark Zuckerberg used to be extremely awkward during presentations. He’s still no Steve Jobs, but he’s gotten way better. In fact, he’s gotten so good, that he’s conducting interviews in Chinese. Post by Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook CEO surprised the audience at Tsinghua University in Beijing when he answered questions in Mandarin. Clearly if you want to connect on a global stage, you need to know more than just a few pleasantries.

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Jerry Cao is a content strategist at UXPin, where he develops in-app and online content for the wireframing and prototyping platform. He recently co-authored The Guide to Minimum Viable Products. “Minimum” is a strong word… and not one usually associated with a good product. Yet lately, the term “Minimum Viable Product” is thrown around as widely accepted advice for startups. Is there truth to this, or is it just another fly-by-night trend? That all depends on who you ask. The idea is this: a company without the resources to fully realize their vision should release their product prematurely with only... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Google today released an update to its Google Earth Android app that brings the service’s first major improvement to its 3D rendering technology since launch. Built from scratch, the renderer offers “faster, smoother and crisper transitions.” Google also plans to use it as a foundation for updates to 3D technology in other products. Here’s what the renderer looked like before: And this is the new look: Other additions to Google Earth for Android include faster basemap updates so that the app will get new data at the same time as Google Maps. You can also use Google Drive to open... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
The new year came early to 1776 last night. The D.C. incubator – which launched in February 2013 – hosted the first regional pitch of its 2015 Challenge Cup. Founders from four categories – health, education, energy, and cities – competed to represent D.C. at the Challenge Festival in May 2015. After a series of 60-second pitches, judges invited two finalists per category to pitch for five minutes before taking audience questions. In the end, four startups – one per category – will represent the District at the Festival: Edbacker, a crowdfunder for educators; BaseTrace, which provides DNA-based tracers that... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
At its first developer conference Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced Twitters new modular SDK,  Fabric to the assembled developers. But more importantly it may have introduced a way to do away with the broken password system. The new SDK is actually three kits. One for Twitter, one for MoPub, Twitter’s ad network and the last one for Crashlytics, Twitter’s crash reporting solution. Developers can drag and drop whichever portion of Fabric SDK they want to use into their IDE (Integrated Development Environment) without having to bloat their workflow with features they don’t need. There are plugins for Xcode for iOS... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Google today announced a new take on email, dubbed Inbox. The free app/service includes reminders, bundles similar messages together and highlights important messages. Inbox looks like a cross between Mailbox and Google Now. An Assists feature attaches relevant information, such as telephone numbers, opening hours and maps, to your reminders and emails. Inbox is invite-only at the moment, but you can request one from inbox@google.com or get one from a friend who has invites to spare. The service will be available on the Web (Chrome only), iOS 7+ and Android 4.1+. Versions for tablets and other modern browsers are also in the works. Google doesn’t intend for... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Microsoft today released the final build of its second-generation Kinect SDK 2.0 for Windows, in addition to one huge change related to Kinect app distribution: for the first time, developers can publish Kinect apps inside the Windows Store. The second iteration of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor contains a high-resolution 1080p camera capable of tracking the user’s movements and identifying voice commands. It was originally developed for the Xbox One console, but the lacklustre reception from players – partly due to the lack of meaningful gameplay experiences – has forced Microsoft to make it an optional accessory. The hardware could have a... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
It looks like Jawbone is preparing to launch a new music service, called Drop, at Twitter’s Flight mobile developer conference today. Based on Jawbone’s own description, Drop would let users play music on Spotify or Rdio and then solicit song requests from their Twitter followers. We first came across the service after the official Twitter Flight account asked attendees to request songs for the event. After I suggested a song, Jawbone’s Drop account responded with a link to drop.jawbone.com, which isn’t live yet. Twitter displayed the above image, taken by Jason Wurtzel, on-screen at Flight. We did manage to find what appears to be... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Google’s Project Tango is just one of the inititives currently aimed at bringing cameras that can ‘see’ the world in 3D to mobile devices. It’s an area that Intel and Occipital are investing in too. Now augmented reality specialist Metaio has announced an updated SDK that will support depth-sensitive cameras. Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows, the SDK launches later this month and promises to ease the path for developers looking to build software that is aware of the 3D world around a device. Metaio says that it expects depth-sensing hardware from firms like Occipital to be available early next year.... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
This is the second of a series on "The Guide to Your Online Portfolio," and has been brought to you by Squarespace. Create exceptional websites, blogs, portfolios and online stores.A great website design is so much more than just delivering content and making it look good. When visitors come to your site, they produce a set of feelings about your website and your organization. The type of feelings they produce – positive or negative – are entirely in your hands and should not be overlooked when designing content. Over the years, there has been a body of knowledge produced to help designers create effective visuals that play into the psychology of their viewers. In order to achieve this, one must understand how different design elements and how we use... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Earlier this week we reported how Pandora wants to reward listeners with ad-free music for engaging with brands. Today, Pandora has announced it’s giving artists new tools to monitor and analyze fan-engagement on the internet radio streaming service. With AMP (artist marketing platform), Pandora says it’s looking to ‘eliminate the guesswork’ by letting artists know which songs are performing well (e.g. track-spin counts and which are garnering the most ‘thumbs-up’). This could be used to help inform future singles or which tracks to perform live. Pandora’s AMP AMP will also tell artists where most of its loving is coming from... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
For half a decade, The Next Web has been hosting hack battles at each of its TNW Conferences without fail, and #TNWUSA 2014 in New York will be no exception. For 36 hours, we’ll be bringing together an exclusive group of international coders, some of the world’s leading platforms and the expertise needed to build amazing hacks. Our Hack Battle page is now live and waiting for you to sign up. Some of the hacks born from our messianic hack marathon at the TNW Europe Conference earlier this year were brilliant (click here to see 15 of the best), and... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Fantastical has bumped up its iPhone and iPad calendar apps to version 2.2, adding a Today widget, interactive notifications and the ability to quickly create new entries via its app extension. All of these features are tied to iOS 8 and therefore, unsurprisingly, the app now requires the latest version of Apple’s mobile OS to run. The Today widget is arguably the most notable addition, providing a simple list of your appointments and reminders, as well as a grid overview of the current month. Interactive notifications mean you can quickly dismiss calendar alerts and signal that you’ve “completed” reminders without jumping into... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Microsoft is highlighting the work of Garage, an internal initiative that encourages employees to work on experimental projects in their spare time, today with three Android-specific apps. The first two, called Next Lock Screen and Journeys & Notes, are aimed at Android smartphones and tablets. The former is a lock screen replacement that includes a feed of calendar appointments and a quick app launcher that changes seamlessly depending on your location. If one of your diary entries is for a conference call, you can also swipe in to immediately dial the right number. Journeys & Notes, meanwhile, is an app... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Getting into DSLR photography can be daunting, but a little guidance in the right direction can help you grasp the fundamentals of taking good pictures and enjoying the art of capturing images. That’s why we’re happy to present our latest offer at TNW Deals: a pack of four great tutorials from the experts at Adobe KnowHow to get you started with shooting and editing photos, at an amazing low price. The Adobe Photography Bundle for Beginners includes everything you need to know about shooting with DSLR cameras, photographing scenes at night, understanding black and white photography, and mastering Adobe Photoshop... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
It seems Microsoft has quietly retired the Surface Pro 2. As Neowin reports, the laptop-tablet hybrid is no longer available to purchase through Microsoft’s online store, signalling that the device has finally reached the end of its lifespan. While the Surface Pro 2 is still listed with its usual product page, hitting the “Buy Now” button in the US leads to a dead link. Similarly, visitors in the UK are being redirected to the homepage of Microsoft’s online store. The Pro 3 is, without question, superior to the Pro 2. Microsoft has been offering the latter as a cheaper alternative... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Almost two months to the day since Barnes & Noble launched its Samsung-developed 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablet, a new larger-screen incarnation has now been unveiled. Launching at what it calls a ‘special introductory price’ of $299.99, the tablet is available from today in more than 650 Barnes & Noble bookstores across the US, as well as online through Barnes & Noble and nook.com. Refresh for updates…

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Groupon is moving into Yelp’s territory with the launch of Pages, a new feature for its daily deals site which gives businesses across the US exactly that – a dedicated webpage. The company says it’s created 7 million so far, powered by 20 million customer ratings and tips. The design of each page is rudimentary, but it contains all of the essential information such as their address, telephone number and menu, as well as the all-important deals currently on offer. In the top right-hand corner there are also icons for giving the place a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’, which... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
After soft-launching the game in Finland, Canada and Poland, Angry Birds maker Rovio has released its first title worldwide under LVL11, a new publishing arm for experimental games. The app is called RETRY and is available now for iOS and Android. You take control of a tiny plane and navigate a series of increasingly difficult courses, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles along the way. Similar to Flappy Bird and the classic browser game Copter, touching almost anything in the level constitutes failure. Tapping on the screen propels your aircraft into the air, so perfectly timing each spike in elevation is... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
For those moments when a regular car is just a little too small, Uber is launching an ‘UberXL’ option in the UK. These larger vehicles will be available to request later today, seating up to six people in London and eight passengers in Manchester. Uber debuted its low-cost SUV service in San Francisco last May, and has slowly been pushing it to new locales such as New York over the last few months. The decision to offer UberXL across the pond is hardly surprising and should appeal to families or any large group trying to quickly get across the city. UberXL... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
BSkyB has updated its mobile apps today to include a new feature that allows users to view photos stored on their devices directly on a TV, as well as ushering in some small design tweaks. Announced today, the update brings the apps in line with Sky’s recent UI overhaul, which now surfaces boxsets and catch-up TV more prominently. It also now has its own Sports section, and Sky said it had worked with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) to improve the voice over technology in the apps for people with sight problems. In order to use the photo feature,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce company already known in the UK for play.com and the streaming service Wuaki.tv, has launched a new online marketplace at rakuten.co.uk. The site is similar to eBay and Amazon Marketplace, giving independent retailers a platform to sell their physical goods. Rakuten is starting with retailers inside the UK, but plans to expand the site’s scope and support international merchants in the future. Furthermore, the company said customers would eventually be able to buy products “from Rakuten marketplaces worldwide.” In short, it’s the same model that Rakuten has perfected in Japan. In 2013, Rakuten announced that it would stop selling DVDs,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
At the presentation of its tenth batch of entrepreneurs, the 500 Startups team advanced 29 new businesses, hoping to catch the eye of the press and anyone with a big pile of cash. The adult version of show-and-tell was heavy on sports and fitness, ad sales, local businesses and big data. But only a few caught our eye during the event. Here they are. Gymtrack After that initial free personal trainer session at the gym, working out can devolve into a hodge podge of random tasks with zero input. Gymtrack wants to fix that by adding its proprietary accessories for hardware, wearable... This story continues at The Next Web

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