posted 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Valve today announced a big milestone in the gaming world: The International Dota 2 Championships will be broadcast on ESPN. An exclusive show previewing the final match will be presented on ESPN2 while the tournament will be available live on the sports network ESPN3. The content will also be accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. ESPN viewers will have access to all the matches, along with related interviews and analysis happening over the course of the four-day... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Augmented reality company Blippar is on a mission to be the bridge between the physical and digital worlds. Today, the company took another step on that mission as it company showed off an early build of its augmented reality games running on Google Glass for the first time. When Glass was first introduced, Google spent a lot of time talking about the convenience of its capabilities. Make a call. Take a picture. It’s simple. While that’s unarguably true, what most people really want when they use Glass for the first time is the experience promised by the science fiction movies of their youth, they want interaction with the... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
David Arnoux is Head of Growth and co-founder of Twoodo, helping teams organize using simple #hashtags. This post originally appeared on the Twoodo blog. As you are all probably tired of hearing by now, growth hacking is not simply a series of tricks or tactics, but a mindset to do what it takes to grow a company. It is data-driven and dovetails quite a bit with online marketing. Each of the 21 B2B growth hacks listed here is an article in itself, but I’m going to keep it brief. Many B2C growth hacks can be creatively tweaked to be valuable as B2B growth hacks.... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Today has been a tough one for Microsoft. After announcing 18,000 layoffs, it has also confirmed that it is shutting down its original programming studio, Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. While the studio itself is being shuttered, the Halo original TV series and Signal to Noise documentary series will continue to be produced by Nancy Tellem, Jordan Levin and other Xbox Entertainment Studio employees. Microsoft had hoped to follow in the footsteps of Netflix producing original content in order to sway consumers to its console and services. But with the Sony PlayStation 4 outselling the Xbox One based on its commitment to gaming... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Facebook today announced it is testing a new feature with ‘a few’ small and medium-sized businesses in the US: a Buy button. The goal is to help businesses drive sales directly through Facebook via News Feed ads and Page posts. The button is available to users on the desktop site as well as on mobile. In short, it allows them to purchase a product or service from a business, without ever having to leave Facebook. Here’s how it looks: Facebook says the feature is built “with privacy in mind” and that the payment experience is “safe and secure.” The company... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Realmac Software, the popular Mac and iOS developer behind apps like Clear, Ember and Rapidweaver, has announced the upcoming release of Typed, an OS X app for writing in Markdown. You’ll need to have OS X Mavericks installed to run it, and the app will upgrade to OS X Yosemite once Apple has released it. Typed will cost $9.99 at launch, but will bump up to $19.99 once the initial promotion is over. Typed will include licensed fonts, a full-screen mode, HTML preview, word and character counts, auto-save support and keyboard shortcuts. I’m told the app will also feature a... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Just a day after releasing the stable version of Chrome 36, Google has announced the release of Chrome 37 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Unlike the Chrome 36 beta, the new features have a consumer focus rather than strictly developer additions. First and foremost, Windows users will be happy to learn support for DirectWrite, a text layout rendering API that first arrived in Windows Vista, has finally been implemented. The question of improving how text appears in the browser on Windows was first brought up in the Chromium bug tracker back in October 2009. Google finally confirmed the feature... This story continues at The Next Web

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