posted 8 days ago on the next web
You know what’s better than helping the environment? Getting paid for it. 500 Startups-backed Ohmconnect has built a Web tool that interfaces with products like the Nest, Tesla Model S and Belkin’s WeMo smart home line to earn you money by dialing back energy usage during peak hours. Not all energy is created equal. Power grids are optimized to produce just enough of the cleanest energy possible, which means they fall back on dirty power during high-demand times. Ohmconnect monitors the status of these so-called “peaker plants” and then sends you and supported devices notifications to reduce your usage.The energy you save... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
The Lomographic Society has announced an exciting new lens: The Russar+ wide angle lens. With its 20mm focal length and high-quality optics, this new art lens promises to produce sharp photos with warm, vibrant colors and vignettes—perfect for street photography, architectural shots, and landscapes, as well as personal portraits. Its compact design, crafted with brass and chrome-plated, promises excellent distortion control and illumination. Designed by Lomography and manufactured in Russia by Zenit, the Russar+ is an update of the famous 1958 Russar MR-2. That model was recognized as a groundbreaking super-wide-angle lens, named after Mikhail Mikhailovich Rusinov, once the chief optical... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
You hear a lot of buzzwords in tech. So when I met up with a spokesperson from the freshly launched Bluetooth speaker brand Spaced360 and he immediately started talking about ‘AirSound technology’, I was wary. It’s not that these terms mean nothing, it’s just that in a lot of cases, they don’t mean a lot to the layman. And in product engineering or acoustics, I’m very much a layman. And sometimes they do just mean virtually nothing. “AirSound means that wherever you are in a room, everyone experiences the same music, which is why we are calling this the third generation... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Justin Fowler is founder of Audio Press. The brain is super quick in establishing connections – it can jump from one idea to the other in a fraction of a second. Your mind is a holding tank for all the memories, experiences, and thoughts you’ve had at some point in your life that haven’t been forgotten. Unfortunately, you can’t hook your brain up to a computer to download information from it… not yet, anyway. With so much information passing through our brains everyday, it’s impossible to manually record everything that comes to mind. But once in a while, you have... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Deanna Paquette is a digital designer at Shutterstock. This post was originally published on the Shutterstock blog and has been adapted with permission. Papercraft and abstraction are a winning combination in any design environment. As UK-based design blog Present & Correct notes, there’s a slight “obsession with stationery,” and when they tweeted about marbleized paper recently, there was cause to swoon. This admiration for all things marbleized is quite widespread, so I also picked out some stunning examples of the practice. Check out these images that shake up a mixture of moods, from nostalgia to creative fervor. Photo of handmade Renaissance/Victori... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Amazon announced today that it has agreed to acquire the popular digital comic store and reader comiXology. The news doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as rumors last month had suggested that Amazon was closing in on a deal. Amazon picking up comiXology makes plenty of business sense, as comics are the one ebook area that the company doesn’t have a dominant presence in. However, the move is bound to upset some comics fans who would prefer comiXology stay independent. We’re hoping this means Amazon will move quickly to bring a backlog of comics to Amazon Prime. Amazon’s e-ink strategy with... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Twitter today announced it is rolling out real-time interactive notifications on the Web. When someone engages with your account, you will now be notified if you’re using Twitter.com. The feature is rolling out “over the coming weeks.” More specifically, you will receive notifications if someone has replied, favorited, or retweeted one of your tweets. Furthermore, Twitter will also let you know when you receive a direct message or a new follower. Here’s an example of the former in action: These notifications are “fully interactive” according to Twitter, meaning you can reply, favorite, retweet, and follow right from the popup. That’s... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Sergio Romo is the co-founder and manager partner at Investomex. In the midst of what seems like a golden age for entrepreneurship and venture capital, accelerators are all over the place and corporations are eagerly looking to run their own acceleration programs, too. It is great for PR, innovation and business development purposes and in some cases, for tax benefits as well. But who should run these programs? Should established companies run their acceleration programs in-house or should they hire a professional and renowned accelerator to manage them? [1] Startup acceleration should not become a zero-sum game where established companies and accelerators... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Facebook today announced plans to clean up the News Feed by reduce stories that users are reporting as spammy or simply that they don’t want to see. This update targets three broad categories: Like-baiting posts, repeated content, and spammy links. Like-baiting refers to when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment, or share the post. In other words, the goal is to go viral, or at least get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive. Here’s an example: Facebook admits this is a technique that works, as users “often respond to posts asking them to... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Google today announced security improvements to Android that will continuously audit your apps as they run in order to verify that they’re safe. Android already checked apps before installation, but the new feature will now employ the app scanning technology Google uses for its app store. If the OS detects a problem with an existing app, it will issue a warning similar to the existing Verify warning that pops up when installing a suspicious app. ➤ Expanding Google’s security services for Android

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Two days after releasing the stable version of Chrome 34, Google has announced the release of Chrome 35 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux. All the new features are for developers, especially those building Web content and apps for mobile devices – this release doesn’t appear to have any new goodies targeted at the end user. First up, Google is promising more developer control over touch and zoom input. The touch-action CSS property lets developers use a declarative mechanism to selectively disable touch scrolling, pinch-zooming, or double-tap-zooming on parts of their Web content. Meanwhile, Web content on desktop computers will... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
If you’ve been disappointed about not getting an invite to its Glass Explorer program, Google may have some good news in store for you. The Verge has published internal documents that suggest the company is planning to open up sales of its high-tech eyewear for a short time as soon as April 15th. While the document was still only a proposal, it does show that Google is interested in dramatically expanding the number of Glass users. Customers would still have to pay $1,500 for Glass, but the promotion would reportedly include a free prescription frame or sunglass shade as part... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Ooomf has been one of the more quirky startup names on the scene, but it’s getting a grown-up name – Crew – as it pivots away from an app discovery platform toward a marketplace for designers and developers. Disclosure: Crew founder Mikael Cho is an occasional contributor to TNW Crew operates similar to existing freelance services like Odesk and Elance, but with a more selective group of talent that has been pre-vetted. Prospective clients fill out a form on Crew to set the expectations of the project, and then Crew responds with a budget for the work. Crew then makes... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
London-based European investor and mentoring program Seedcamp has struck a deal with the London Business School to create the LBS Seedcamp Academy Consulting Program (LSCAP). Aside of having a very official sounding title, the program will see MBA and Masters in Finance students working alongside startup founders to gain practical on-the-job experience in overcoming real-life business challenges faced by growing companies. Students who take part have the ability to get course credit for their efforts, and startups, well, they get the benefit of financial and marketing advice that they’d otherwise be paying for; a win-win. ➤ A World First! 2 World Class Institutions... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
What’s more fun than a selfie? Why, a selfie within a selfie, of course. Shots, the app that seeks to exemplify the youth-oriented selfie phenomenon—touting a Justin Bieber zeitgeist while proudly taking its place on Apple’s App Store Selfie shelf—has launched an intriguing feature to the new upgrade it’s releasing today: the Reply Shot. The app’s new Reply Shot feature lets users directly answer a selfie with another selfie, embedding the second shot into a new original shot. Why? “So people can interact more directly through their selfies,” said John Shahidi, who co-founded Shots with his brother Sam, plus a... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Have you got crowdfunding fatigue? The latest video from Vooza sums up our gripes with the worst crowdfunding pitches on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Every week, Vooza – a video comic strip about the tech world – shares a new video with you lovely TNW readers. Sign up for Vooza’s email list to get exclusive access to more funny videos like this one.

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Zendesk, the customer support and issue tracking software-as-a-service platform, has announced its intention to file for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. The company filed its letter of intent with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today, but didn’t reveal how many shares it will offer or the initial price range. Clearly with momentum on its mind, Zendesk also announced the acquisition of live chat software company Zopim today, which it says will be used to expand the live chat capabilities of its customer service platform. The Zopim live chat module will also continue to be... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
As Samsung gears up for the imminent launch of its latest flagship smartphone, the Korean electronics giant has announced a partnership with music-streaming service Deezer. Those who buy the new Samsung Galaxy S5 will be given six months worth of Deezer’s Premium+ service for free, equating roughly to €60 over the period. The partnership applies to European countries only (not including Deezer’s home turf in France, unfortunately), and will be extended to include other Samsung smartphones and tablets in the future. This isn’t the first time Deezer has teamed up with Samsung however – the two companies collaborated to enable... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Snupps, a new father-son startup based in London, has launched its iOS app for cataloguing all your worldly possessions today. Using a visually-led UI, Snupps allows users to keep track of all their possessions, valuables, keepsakes and anything else in Collections stored on virtual shelves. As a twist on straight cataloging, there is a social element to the app too; users can follow, comment on or ‘wow’ individual items or collections. Of course, there’s no obligation for your items to be publicly viewable, and items are set to private by default. While there really is no shortage of functionally similar... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
This post originally appeared on the Twitter Counter blog. Twitter can be a great tool for establishing your brand, building a community and extending your influence. But to get the most out of Twitter and do all of the above, first you need to avoid making these common mistakes. 1. Starting a tweet with someone’s username First time I learned about this tip, I was amazed! Imagine the situation when an influencer tweets your blog post praising your content. High fives! You’ve made it! Overwhelmed with joy, you send out a tweet that looks a bit like this: “@influencer, thank... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
BlackBerry CEO John Chen has denied he would exit the smartphone business if it remains unprofitable for the Canadian company. His new statements come less than a day after being quoted by Reuters, which he now says took his words out of context. Here’s the original article: BlackBerry Ltd would consider exiting its handset business if it remains unprofitable, its chief executive said on Wednesday, as the company looks to expand its corporate reach with investments, acquisitions and partnerships. “If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business,” John Chen said in an interview,... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Skype today updated its Xbox One app with two new features and a slew of bug fixes, but just like the last update, this one still doesn’t let you use Skype while playing games. The new version is rolling out gradually, so don’t fret if you don’t see it on your console just yet. You can now take a Skype profile picture using Kinect or set it to match your Xbox One gamerpic. The auto zoom has been enhanced to better identify people in the picture, especially when there are multiple people in the room, allowing the Kinect camera to... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Wireless music platform Sonos has announced support for the Google Play Music service with an exciting twist – you can cast music directly from the Google Play Music Android app in addition to using Sonos’s own controller app. This is huge. While Sonos has emerged as the dominant leader in the multi-room wireless audio market, its controller app has long been the weakest link in the chain. Adding direct streaming from the Google Play Music app doesn’t fix the problem right away, but it does pry a finger off of Sonos’s tight grip on the controller. This depth of integration with a... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Internet stalwart RealNetworks launched its LISTEN mobile app back in November, noting at the time that it was looking to “reinvent the ringback tone experience for smartphone users”. In a nutshell, LISTEN makes the songs and messages that play when someone calls you more flexible. For launch, the app was only available to Orange and T-Mobile subscribers in the UK – but from today, it’s being rolled out in the US too, kicking off with T-Mobile. You can select tunes from a catalog of music from Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and a slew of indie labels, assigning specific... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 8 days ago on the next web
Microsoft has announced that its 4G LTE-capable Surface 2 tablet is now available to pre-order in the UK ahead of its release early next month. Before today, UK residents have only been able to get hold of the WiFi-only Surface 2 device, but this 4G variant – which runs Windows RT 8.1, rather than the full version of Windows 8.1 – is now available to pre-order from the Microsoft Store. It will then go on sale from high street retailers for £539 from May 8. Other key hardware specs include an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, 10.6-inch full HD display and... This story continues at The Next Web

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