posted 9 days ago on the next web
Curated same-day hotel-booking service HotelTonight is rolling out a new ‘Look Ahead’ feature today, serving up a snapshot of last-minute room rates, potential savings, hotel availability and other location-specific data for the next seven days. The basic premise behind the new feature is that you can see at a glance what rates may look like in the week ahead, based on historical and predictive booking data. This includes whether there is a large event/conference happening in the locale that may impact room rates. To access this, click the ‘Look Ahead’ button in the bottom right-hand corner of the app, and... This story continues at The Next Web

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After launching iPlayer video downloads for 11 Android devices last September, the BBC today said all hardware running Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or higher should now be able to access the new feature. The broadcaster estimates that over 96 percent of people who use the iPlayer app on Android should be covered by the roll-out. It means they’ll now be able to download their favorite TV programmes and watch them at a later date, regardless of whether or not they have a stable Internet connection. Downloads can be kept for 30 days, although once the viewer presses play access is... This story continues at The Next Web

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Next week sees our flagship event, TNW Europe Conference take place in Amsterdam. With 2,500 people attending from more than 50 countries it is going to be the biggest event we ever hosted. We have several speaker formats (Trend, Grow, Boost to name a few) and today we’re adding a new fresh format. We call it: ONE. ONE talks, co-hosted by OneDrive, are short talks on the one topic you’re really excited about. It doesn’t have to relate to tech, startups or technology at all, it can be about anything. As long as it’s the one thing you’re really passionate about and... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant, a professional speaker and a freelance writer. This article originally appeared on the Adknowledge blog. It’s a misconception among advertisers and media buyers alike that they should be targeting different audience segments when using the advanced targeting features available from the Facebook platform. In actuality, it’s important to target the various personas of your audience online, as opposed to generic segments. By targeting these personas, your ads are more likely to convert since they are more aligned with the interests of the Facebook user in the funnel. Use data from your analytics to understand what types of personas are typically... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Microsoft today launched its Office 365 Personal subscription, a cheaper alternative that is limited to just two devices: one PC or Mac and one tablet. Instead of $99.99 per year or $99.99 per month for the Home subscription, the Personal option goes for $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month. It’s available online at Office365.com, at Microsoft Stores, and through the company’s online and retail partners. The new offering was announced last month, but Microsoft then only said it would be coming “this spring.” Now that it’s here, Office 365 Personal is an excellent option for all those iOS users... This story continues at The Next Web

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Twitter is acquiring Gnip, a social data provider that offers real-time insights for a bevy of social networks including Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ and, not surprisingly, its new owner. “We want to make our data even more accessible, and the best way to do that is to work directly with our customers to get a better understanding of their needs,” Twitter said in a blog post. “To that end, we have agreed to acquire Gnip, a leading provider of social data and a long-standing Twitter data partner.” Twitter said it will be using Gnip’s expertise to offer businesses “more sophisticated data... This story continues at The Next Web

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That’s right folks, for one day only, consumers in the US are getting the chance to hand over $1,500 in exchange for a pair of Google Glass eyewear. It’s the first time that the smart glasses have ever been put on general sale; until now, only developers or people with a good reason to test out the tech had been able to apply for the privilege of being a part of the early adopter Google Glass Explorer program, and they still had to hand over that $1,500. For this slightly more general sale, that purchase price includes a free prescription... This story continues at The Next Web

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Table8 launched today as an iPhone and Android app that reserves tables at a city’s hottest restaurants and offers them up to last-minute diners for a fee. The service is San Francisco-only for now, but the startup plans to quickly expand to Chicago, London, Los Angeles and New York. The top restaurants in a city like San Francisco need to be booked months in advance, but planning ahead to that extent is often out of the question for most diners. Table8 deals only in primetime bookings from 6:30-8:30pm, Thursday-Saturday. Pricing changes depending on demand and availability, but fees are in... This story continues at The Next Web

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For so many of us, Yelp has become an essential part of the routine when searching for new local restaurants. However, as the site has become increasingly noisy and unreliable, Taste Savant is aiming to eat Yelp’s lunch with the release of an iPhone app for its chef-curated restaurant review service. Taste Savant turns away from the free-for-all that is crowdsourcing by taking a more exclusive approach. By acting as an aggregator for reviews from chefs, critics, food bloggers and your friends, it attempts to provide better information than you’d find from sites like Yelp. You can think of it more like... This story continues at The Next Web

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Etsy plans to publicly launch its wholesale program in August, and today revealed how much it’ll be charging users for each order. The scheme launched in beta almost a year ago and is designed to connect Etsy’s army of sellers with prominent retailers. While many independent manufacturers find success selling their hand-crafted creations on Etsy, the company’s wholesale initiative offers greater reach through physical stores. “For many sellers who have built sustaining, full-time businesses on Etsy, Etsy Wholesale is a way to support their continued growth,” Camilla Velasquez, Etsy’s director of payments and multichannel sales said. When the platform sheds... This story continues at The Next Web

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If you use Auto Backup to instantly store your smartphone and tablet photos on Google+, you’ll soon be able to add them to new Gmail messages with just a few clicks. Starting today, Google is updating the ‘Insert Photo’ button located on the bottom toolbar of new Gmail messages to include photos that have been backed up from mobile devices. Hit the icon and you’ll be shown the same grid interface found on Google+, with tabs for recent photos and all of your curated photo albums. The option to upload a new photo from your PC or laptop, as well as... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
BTC China, until recently the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, has rolled out an ATM Web app called Picasso that lets you sell Bitcoins in return for cold hard cash — but both parties have to be physically present in order to carry out the exchange. At first glance, this is a highly inconvenient arrangement. A BTC China spokesperson tells TNW that because it isn’t a legal financial institution, it cannot transfer money to bank accounts directly — and in order to circumvent that, the exchange between buyer and seller has to be a physical payment of cash. The move looks likely to be a response to... This story continues at The Next Web

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As more consumer hardware startups crop up on crowdfunding platforms, an accelerator program HaxAsia has launched in Singapore to give a helping hand to those focusing on Asian markets. Behind the accelerator is a group of investment firms — Ruvento Ventures, IncuVest, DI-Group and SpinUp Partners. Slava Solonitsyn, the managing partner of HaxAsia, says: We’ve seen the explosion of successful crowdfunding launches recently, which brought to the world great products such as the Oculus Rift and Pebble Watch… However, most of the hardware teams launching crowdfunding campaigns often fail to communicate their product ideas well, lack the distribution network and underestimate the manufacturing risks and costs. All... This story continues at The Next Web

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If stickers and emoticons still aren’t enough for you to express your emotions via chat apps, Japanese messaging service Line has now introduced ‘Sticons’ — a hybrid of stickers and emoticons (the name pretty much says it all). Sticons can be used in text messages just like emoticons, but what’s unique is that when you send them in a standalone message, they morph into large, individual images — just like stickers. Line has rolled out Sticons on Android first, though it says an iPhone update is also coming in the near future. There are over 1,000 different Sticons to choose... This story continues at The Next Web

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There’s no shortage of video-focused, Internet-connected boxes on the market and most of them can handle music streaming too. But what if you stripped out the video and concentrated entirely on audio? That’s what ‘social WiFi’ company Fon is doing with its new Gramofon device. Hook a Gramofon box up to your Internet connection and not only will it stream music from Spotify, but it will act as a social jukebox where your friends can sign in via Facebook to line up songs to play. Oh, and because Fon has plenty of experience in building routers, you friends can use... This story continues at The Next Web

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Singapore-based video site Viddsee has introduced a new editorial and marketing feature called BUZZ as it seeks to create more conversations around film content. This means that instead of just showcasing films on its site, Viddsee is taking steps to engage users by explaining the context for each film, so it can lead to a wider variety of responses and social sharing. Viddsee co-founder Derek Tan says that BUZZ is currently a key part of helping Viddsee accelerate its growth and engagement, though it will eventually form part of its monetization plans as a tool that can be tapped on for film... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google has updated its terms of service to reflect its email scanning practices that are carried out to provide users with customized search results and tailored advertising, as Reuters first spotted. In the latest version of its terms of service, Google adds a paragraph explaining that email scanning is done automatically when the content is being delivered and when it finally sits within its servers: Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Google is bringing its Cloud Platform support to the Asia-Pacific region, which means that local developers can now access a set of compute, storage and big data products to build on top of the same infrastructure and technology that powers Google — with better performance and lower latency. Meanwhile, developers around the world will benefit from a broader global network of servers. The expansion of Cloud Platform support is part of Google’s efforts to help businesses work better with cloud-based tools as part of its Enterprise business – but more importantly, it helps to increase its reach in Asia. The Google Cloud Platform website and developer console is also... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft is rolling out a system update to the Xbox One starting now and extending over the next few days, which includes features such as a progress bar showing you game saves and app updates, notifications that alert you to whenever friends sign in to Xbox Live, and silent rebooting after system updates. Here’s the changelog for this system update: Game and app saves and updates: A progress bar will show you the status of your game saves, and it’s now easier to tell what games and apps are being updated. Friend improvements: You get notified when favorites and friends sign in... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google has announced a major update to its Glass firmware coming later this week, but the move to Kit Kat also leaves behind a key feature: video calls. The Glass team said the decision didn’t come lightly, but it decided to pull video calls because they weren’t living up to standards. Even so, the company says only 10 percent of Glass Explorers use the feature. Google didn’t provide a timeline on when it expects to re-introduce the feature, but it noted that some third-party developers should have their own streaming video solutions coming out soon. Dropping support for video calls... This story continues at The Next Web

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Sure, everyone loves sitting down to their favorite HBO drama—Oz, Game of Thrones, The Wire, Girls, True Detective, Sex and the City—on a widescreen TV. But here’s a high concept: Artist renditions of selected characters and scenes from your favorite series as larger-than-life gallery pieces. That’s the idea behind an interactive art exhibition-slash-ad campaign for yes, Israel’s satellite television operator, in conjunction with HBO, the series’ sponsor. The initiative, designed to generate publicity for yesOh, a channel that broadcasts mostly HBO series, was launched by the creative team at D/TALES, a Tel Aviv-based ad agency. “We wanted to do an artistic... This story continues at The Next Web

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TransferWise, the London-based startup that wants to make transferring money between currencies effortless and inexpensive, has finally launched a native Android app. TransferWise is a peer-to-peer service that sidesteps bank fees and lets you switch money directly to users in other countries. Though it has previously had an app available on Google Play, it was actually just a shortcut to its website and lacked any real ‘native’ functionality. Today’s news comes six months after it rolled out a version for iPhone-users. The free app is compatible with Android 2.3+, and lets you transfer money to anyone, anywhere in the world.     In... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 9 days ago on the next web
Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea Technologies and a mobile strategy advisor. He can be contacted via Twitter @rahulvarshneya. Ever noticed that whenever Facebook implements a new design change on their website, just how many people crib and rant about the change? Most people are habituated in the way they use products and services and any change, even the slightest brings about a sudden reaction of resistance. When you introduce your new path-breaking, never been done before idea to these people, would you expect a different response? When you’re talking to people about your ideas, you’re typically looking for a positive response... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced major updates to the Windows Dev Center and Windows Phone Dev Center, with the former rolling out “later this week” and the latter arriving “later today.” While Microsoft says many of the enhancements address feedback from developers, the big additions are support for universal Windows apps and Windows Phone 8.1 apps. Microsoft explains developers can now link Windows Store and Windows Phone apps to create a universal Windows app to provide a “get once and download for all compatible Windows devices” customer experience, which the company hopes will increase both paid and free app downloads across device... This story continues at The Next Web

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Dominic Smith is a senior writer and content strategist for Rackspace Digital, the digital marketing infrastructure specialists. In the age of experience-based marketing, some brands want us to do more than just buy their products. They want us to interact with them, to love them. Dan Wieden, legendary adman, described this desire for active participation when he said: “Brands are verbs. Nike exhorts. IBM solves. Sony dreams.” But there are few verbs more active and inspiring than “love.” In a recent survey by APCO Worldwide, analysts worked out how that love is expressed. They measured eight ways we interact with... This story continues at The Next Web

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