posted 8 days ago on the next web
For the third year running, Mozilla is celebrating the art of making and learning on the Web with a two-month ‘Maker Party‘ campaign. Until September 15, the non-profit organization will encourage people from across the world to host their own Maker Party, or attend the over 300 community-run events already listed online. Mozilla has a tonne of free resources online to get event planners started, including Webmaker tools and activities, table cloth, button and flyer designs, tips for finding a venue and documenting all of the excitement on the day. The promotion of coding and computer science is a key... This story continues at The Next Web

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As promised at its Build 2014 conference, Microsoft is pushing Windows Phone 8.1 to Nokia Lumia smartphones as part of its Cyan firmware update. All Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8 should be eligible for the ugrade, although Microsoft stresses that it will be available for its full range “in the coming weeks.” A few smartphones including the new Lumia 630 and 635 have already shipped with Windows Phone 8.1 – the Lumia 930 will follow shortly – but this will clearly open it up to a larger pool of customers. Windows Phone 8.1 comes with its Cortana personal assistant,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google today announced Project Zero, a new team inside the company focused on protecting the Internet as a whole. The company argues that anyone should be able to use the Web without fear of criminal or state-sponsored attacks to infect your computer, steal secrets, or monitor your communications. Yet zero-day vulnerabilities are a daily worry. These are security holes that have not been publicly disclosed yet, and so don’t have a patch available. They are often used in targeted attacks against human rights activists, companies, or governments because they are difficult to detect without prior knowledge. Google explains its approach... This story continues at The Next Web

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Scotland has become the latest country to be awarded with its very own top-level domain. The Scottish Government and Scottish businesses first expressed interest in launching a .scot domain back in 2011. It is hoped that businesses in Scotland will be able to adopt .scot to show their allegiance to their country, as opposed to using options such as .com and .co.uk. This is perhaps fitting, considering the the fact that Scotland could be set to pull out of the United Kingdom later this year. More than 50 organisations have already signed up to receive the new domain after it’s... This story continues at The Next Web

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Garrett Heath is a technology storyteller with Rackspace. In the midst of incremental technology changes, we can lose sight of how far we’ve come. Personal trainers understand this phenomenon, which is why they ask people to take photos throughout their journey to better health. It is hard to tell the progress from day-to-day, but a quick look at images a month or more apart can reveal big changes. The look and feel of the Web has undergone an extraordinary transformation. It went from being a tangled Web of neon links, HTML tables and indexed themes to a sophisticated set of properties, powered by... This story continues at The Next Web

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European investment and mentorship program Seedcamp has today announced the launch of its third fund, a $30 million pool of cash to pump into European startups. The new fund will focus on providing investment for startups looking to scale globally, rather than focusing on the initial hurdle of getting up-and-running. Essentially, the aim is to help develop the longevity required to build businesses worth hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars. “The way that we’re looking at acceleration as an action is not around a very finite period of time. It’s not a three-month thing with ‘here’s some money and off you go’. We’re looking... This story continues at The Next Web

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Launching initially as a beta product last August, Sympler hit the App Store as a means to help users create 20-second music videos through mashing together a range of content. Since then, the app was iterated and refined, with a new experience and slew of fresh features added to the mix. However, the app was subsequently pulled offline completely, as the team behind it wanted to reset the clock and launch a whole new product. “Same concept, new functionality,” is the general idea here. Sympler version 2.0 is live now, serving up a slew of fresh new features, which we... This story continues at The Next Web

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Three today unveiled a new set of SIM-only plans for its UK customers, finally ditching its beloved ‘One Plan’ contracts and the option of unlimited tethering for new customers. The revamped 12-monthly plans start from £7 for 500MB and 200 minutes, before rising to £10 for either 2GB and 200 minutes or 1GB and 600 minutes. Unlimited data now starts from £15 per month with 200 minutes; meanwhile, the top package now costs £23 per month for all-you-can-eat minutes and data. The new one-month rolling SIM-only plans are almost identical, although you’ll pay £3 extra at each tier for the... This story continues at The Next Web

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Breathalyzer maker BACtrack today announced the BACtrack Vio, a $49.99 alcohol testing unit that fits on a keychain and feeds the results over Bluetooth to your iPhone or Android smartphone. BACtrack has been making breathalyzers for years, but it didn’t release its first smartphone unit until last year. The new Vio is more compact and affordable than the original BACtrack Mobile. Alongside the product launch, BACtrack has also released an improved app with a better-looking design and new features like the ability to guess your blood alcohol content ahead of time. The Vio is a bit thicker than a large USB... This story continues at The Next Web

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Xiaomi will launch its flagship Mi 3 smartphone in India on July 22. The Android handset will be sold for Rs 13,999 (roughly $230 USD) exclusively through Flipkart; starting today, customers can register online to buy the device on the day of its release. India could be a huge market for the Chinese smartphone maker, although competition is already rife with established players such as Samsung, Nokia and local firms Micromax and Karbonn. The Mi 3 is an impressive device through, with a 5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM. Although the Mi 3 could prove popular in the... This story continues at The Next Web

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British fast-food ordering and delivery service Just Eat has announced it’s acquired London-based takeaway app Orogo. The latter allows users to place an order at a variety of different restaurants in the UK capital and then collect it without needing to queue. Orogo will continue to operate independently, headed by its founders Christoph Lippuner and Mikael Landau. The announcement follows Just Eat’s IPO at the beginning of April, at which time it told TNW that the money would go towards formalizing its food collection service. With today’s acquisition, it seems the company has just taken another step in that direction. ➤... This story continues at The Next Web

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Grooveshark, an online music streaming service for playing back individual tracks, artists or albums, is now accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment via Stripe. The payments firm announced that it would add support for Bitcoin only a few months ago. This means you can now subscribe to Grooveshark’s unlimited, mobile, ad-free service using the popular cryptocurrency — and you should be able to see the option alongside its usual payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal. The company is also currently offering its $9 monthly upgrade package at a discounted price of $5 per month. Things have been starting to look... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google is teaming up with Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis – specifically its Alcon eye care division – to bring its smart contact lens to market. Originally unveiled in January, the futuristic lens analyzes the user’s tears to consistently monitor blood glucose levels. Google[x], the team known for its work on ‘moonshot’ projects within Google, will now collaborate with Alcon to develop the lens further. The final product will require “non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturized electronics” to work accurately and seamlessly at all times. Although diabetic patients are the target market, Google and Alcon said the “smart lens” technology could also... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google will now indicate when a page listed in its search results won’t load properly on your device. For instance, if a site requires Adobe Flash you’ll see the following message on your iPhone, iPad or Android device running version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or higher: It’s a small change, but one that should encourage web designers and developers to adopt widely supported browser technologies. Just to emphasise, this doesn’t mean Google will remove these sites from its search listings – although a drop in engagement is bound to occur moving forward. ➤ Google [Blog Post] Featured image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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The likes of  Samsung, Google  and ARM have teamed together to form and develop Thread, an IP-based wireless networking protocol. This follows the announcement of Open Interconnect Consortium, which too has been backed by major industry players to support the future of the Internet of Things. The aim here is to hone on current networking technologies already available, with Thread allowing for product developers and consumers to connect up more than 250 devices to a mesh network that includes direct internet and cloud access. However, Thread isn’t an application protocol or a connectivity platform; it’s a networking protocol that has... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google hopes to launch its ‘build-it-yourself’ Project Ara smartphone next year and in preparation, the technology giant is accepting applications for its first development boards. With these, developers can begin prototyping and constructing their own modules for the Ara platform. With the open-source MDK released during Google I/O, these could be cameras, antennas, batteries, processors – anything that can latch on to the Project Ara module shell. As Eduardo Ruiz points out on Google+, yesterday developers were told that Google is now accepting applications for its Project Ara test boards. A request form is available online and the first round of... This story continues at The Next Web

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Amazon launched its #Amazoncart shopping initiative, which allows users to order items via Twitter, in the US and UK in May, and now it has been expanded to India. The feature is simple. Users who connect their accounts on the two services just tweet a reply with #AmazonCart to any tweet that contains an Amazon product link, and it will be added to their shopping basket. @psawers Great! We added this item to your Amazon Basket. When ready, review your Basket http://t.co/ZegiVU7PCu and check out — MyAmazonUK (@MyAmazonUK) May 5, 2014 The tie-in makes a lot of sense in the Indian market, where Amazon is a... This story continues at The Next Web

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Rumors that Japanese messaging app Line would list publicly started circulating since last year, with various reports and estimations pegging the firm’s valuation between $10-30 billion. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that Line has applied for an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. WSJ says the deal is expected to be worth more than 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion), which would be one of Japan’s largest stock offerings this year. Interestingly, the newspaper also says that Line will likely apply for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange too, making for a dual listing. The company is said... This story continues at The Next Web

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Anyone who’s spent any time working in an office will largely agree that an insane amount of time is wasted sitting around in meetings. It’s a common, but largely unavoidable, complaint. It’s not that attempting to get through the endless supply of bad coffee and limp looking fruit (not in our office, of course) is a chore in itself, it’s more that a lot of them are simply to deliver regular updates to the rest of your team, the sort of thing that could be handled in an email. This is where Teamreporter comes in; it wants to effectively end these needless meetings... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft completed the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business in April at a price slightly higher than $7.2 billion, and now to integrate the unit, Bloomberg reports that the company is planning the biggest round of job cuts in five years. This means the number this time round would exceed the 5,800 jobs that were slashed in 2009, according to the report. The job cuts could be announced this week and will likely come from areas such as Nokia and divisions of Microsoft that overlap with the Nokia business, as well as marketing and engineering, Bloomberg cites its sources as... This story continues at The Next Web

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Apple has introduced a new service that allows users to add money to their App Store, iTunes Store or iBookstore account at its physical retail stores. First spotted by 9to5mac, ‘iTunes Pass’ is currently only available in Japan, where it links in-store Apple ID account top-ups to the Passbook app on a user’s iOS device. The new solution sounds fairly basic, but its simplifies the current process, which requires users to buy gift cards from retail stores and subsequently redeem them with their Apple ID. It isn’t clear whether this process will be a Japan-only initiative, or whether the country is merely a test bed for a future global... This story continues at The Next Web

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PayPal has updated its iOS app to let you link loyalty cards from a list of supported merchants (as first spotted by 9to5 Mac). This means you can now carry virtual versions around instead of having to stuff multiple cards into your wallet. The update has not rolled out to PayPal’s Android app yet, but it appears to be only a matter of time. Adding support for loyalty cards looks to be PayPal’s way of making its mobile app even more useful and helping customers stick to one app for payment-related matters at merchants, instead of scrambling to access loyalty... This story continues at The Next Web

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Payments company MOL Global is the latest Asian tech company to seek a US public listing, after it filed for an initial public offering that could raise as much as $300 million, Reuters reports. The Malaysia-based company is perhaps best known for acquiring once-popular social network Friendster, but its technology enables payments for a range of online sites and companies across Southeast Asia. The company’s annual revenues jumped 79 percent to $54 million in 2013, while profits tripled to reach $5.8 million. China’s Alibaba is set to go public on the New York stock exchange later this year in a listing that... This story continues at The Next Web

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How hard can it be to disconnect from your internet and cable provider? It’s a battle if you are a Comcast customer, according to the experience AOL’s Ryan Block and his wife Veronica Belmont recently went through. The couple recorded their painful conversation with a Comcast rep 10 minutes into the call, which is at times akin to a desperate girlfriend or boyfriend clinging on to a fractured relationship until the bitter end. Unfortunately, the Comcast staffer seemingly did not know he was talking with two tech influencers, and now of the recording is spreading online. Are Block and Belmont alone in receiving this level of... This story continues at The Next Web

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Singapore-based online grocery store RedMart has huge ambitions to eventually expand beyond groceries, with the aim to eventually build a logistics network that can be leveraged for many verticals other than just groceries. “We see ourselves as a technology and logistics company that just happens to be delivering groceries,” Redmart CEO Roger Egan told TNW. The company is on a roll as it marches towards this ultimate aim. After scooping $5.4 million in a bridge round in January this year, it has just raised a $23 million Series B round from existing investors Garena (which invested in its Series A round) and... This story continues at The Next Web

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