Posts Tagged ‘Here’s’
Every Xbox One comes with a new Kinect sensor — a powerful peripheral that lets the game console read your heart rate and respond to your voice commands. In our review of the Xbox One, however, we discovered that the Kinect typically only recognizes extremely specific vocal cues like “Xbox turn off” and “Xbox Bing.” How many of those prompts are there, and what can they do? Microsoft just released a cheat sheet with a host of examples.
In addition to useful commands like “Xbox Snap” and “Xbox Play,” for example, you can also say “Xbox Help” on any screen or in any app to bring up a simplified user manual. “Xbox Invite” is a shortcut to get your friends in on the action, allowing you to pull up the Party interface without leaving your…
What’s 50-feet tall, 250-feet long and outfitted with decorative “fish fin” sails? Google’s so-called mystery barge, apparently. Mum’s still the word in Mountain View, but at the Port of San Francisco, details about the floating technology scow are starting to emerge. Documents obtained by the San …
Google’s Nexus 5 is not a real thing yet, but at this point it’s a foregone conclusion; Google will update its Android reference smartphone, which comes with the clean stock version of its mobile operating system, and it’ll probably do it today. Which is why it makes perfect sense that the leaks are now flying fast and furious.
The Nexus 5 will reportedly be unveiled later today, sometime around 8 AM PST according to a report from GottaBeMobile, and it’ll begin shipping tomorrow, November 1 with orders starting immediately. Whether or not it happens right at that time, the case remains that we’re probably going to see the phone today at some point, since a number of earlier reports also indicated Oct. 31 as the time for its official debut.
Google’s Nexus 5 is likely sourced from hardware partner LG, just like the Nexus 4, and it is said to have a 4.95-inch, 1080p display, with a Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera/1.3 megapixel front, and Android 4.4 KitKat. It’ll likely be the first KitKat device, which is a software update that brings a lot of refinements, along with replacing the stock SMS app with Google Hangouts now that it has SMS integration, we’re hearing.
According to one T-Mobile employee, the Nexus 5 will be available at that carrier the same day it’s announced, and will cost roughly the same as the Nexus 4 did on T-Mo last year (which is to say, at a considerable markup). Google has also updated the look and design of the Play Devices web store, prompting some to note that this could be in preparation for a Nexus 5 listing.
Google’s Nexus 5 seems like it’ll be a match for the current crop of top Android smartphones, at least on paper, and it’s a handsome device if early render and photo leaks are to be believed. Price and international availability remain the biggest question marks at this point, as well as the exact timing of availability, but we’ll be sure to bring you more as soon as we get any official info from Google.
Yet another social network succumbs to ads. Get ready for your feed to change.
A few weeks ago, only minutes before Twitter’s IPO filing was released, Instagram announced it was going to be rolling out sponsored ad posts into users' feeds. As expected the announcement hardly made news, but expect that to change today. In a blog post this afternoon, the company released the first looks at what Instagram ads will look like, noting that they're expected to start appearing in your feed as early as this week.
Judging by Instagram's language — as well as the backlash Facebook has received for its ad rollouts — the company is looking to ease into sponsored posts. Instagram has also given users an option to disable the ad if it is overly intrusive or irrelevant, a feature that Instagram took pains to spell out clearly in the company's blog post:
If you see an ad that doesn't interest you, you can tap the “…” below it to hide it and provide feedback about what you didn't like. This will help us show you more interesting ads in the future.
tumblr.com / Via Instagram
So far, Instagram users aren't thrilled…
Instagram / Via instagram.com
According to new data, users are unlocking their phones an average of 110 times per day. Help.
Via John Herrman
We can’t stop obsessively checking our phones and now we have proof.
Locket, an Android app that pays users in exchange for placing ads on their lockscreens, has compiled data on its 150,000-plus users and, guess what: they're constantly locking and unlocking their phones. In some cases, Locket has seen individual users unlock their phones up to 900 times in a single day.
According to Locket's data, on a given day, the average user checks his or her phone 110 times per day, with its highest frequency users unlocking their home screens many times more.
Locket's users are most active between 5-8 PM EST, when over 75 percent of users are actively swiping. During peak hours the average user checks his or her phone nine times an hour. Even during low frequency hours (3-5 AM EST), 24 percent of Locket users are actively swiping, with the average user checking his or her phone four times an hour.
While the numbers are insane, there’s a few important caveats, here. Locket may incentivize its users to unlock their phones by paying them to swipe across ads on their lock screens. However, other recent reports peg the number of home screen swipes unlocks even higher than Locket's average, suggesting that the average phone user checks his or her phone up to 150 times per day — Locket is likely capitalizing on an existing habit, not encouraging it.
And when you stop to think about it, 110 checks a day doesn't seem too ridiculous. Spread over 12 hours, that's one glimpse every six or seven minutes. When you factor in every clock check, text notification and Twitter refresh, that starts to sound… kind of low? God, we need help.
Each week Joshua Fruhlinger contributes This is the Modem World, a column dedicated to exploring the culture of consumer technology.
She was parked on Palos Verdes Boulevard. I was chugging up the hill on my road bike, trying to get some much-needed exercise on an early Saturday morning. The cool …
A School District Paid $40,000 To Monitor Its Students’ Social Media And Here’s A Sample Of What They Got For Their Money
The Glendale Unified School District in California has hired a firm to monitor students’ social media accounts. These are the kinds of things teenagers tweet sometimes.
The Glendale Unified School District in California has spent more than $ 40,000 to hire an outside firm to monitor its students’ social media accounts. “It's designed around student safety and making sure kids are protected,” Superintendent Dick Sheehan told The Los Angeles Times. The firm is able to look at public social media posts and find information about potential suicide, drug use, violence and smartphone use during class. The following tweets were found on Glendale high school campuses. This is what high schoolers' social media looks like in 2013:
Over the last two years, Twitter subtly transformed into an advertising machine. Ads on the real-time web.
Dado Ruvic / Reuters
What does it mean for you that Twitter is going public? Here’s a safe bet: you'll hear about Twitter going public a lot. Here's another: you'll see more ads.
But not just any ads. Twitter, a company that could have easily gone public years ago, waited until it had a type of ad that was truly its own. A type of ad that at least has the possibility of making real money, rather than just a lot of money, and the type of ad that nobody else could really sell. It had to monopolize something, and it did.
Here's how it happened. In February, Twitter rolled out an advertising API. This gave advertisers, who already had access to basic promoted tweets and hashtags, a set of tools to write and deploy ads more quickly, using popular professional Twitter apps. Next, in March, it released something called “keyword targeting in timelines,” basically giving advertisers a way to buy ads against subjects that users are actively interested in. Then Twitter gave advertisers a way to sync up TV ads with tweets.
Together, those pieces constitute Twitter's big pitch, and the one it'll be using in its IPO: It's where people go to talk about TV, sports, politics and the news. It's created ad products that can be overlaid on events in real time, and which scale with popularity. It can contain and monetize the internet's constant eruptions, including the unpredictable ones but especially the predictable ones. There was early Twitter, the strange service for geeks. There was API Twitter, where apps blossomed and user numbers grew (you might also call it tech company Twitter). There was media company Twitter, with a shift to official apps and an emphasis on embedded images, videos and content. And now there's IPO Twitter. Advertising Twitter.
So far it's working. On Tuesday, virtually every phone company and most major Apple competitors bought Twitter ads against Apple's iPhone launch event. Twitter partnered with MTV owner Viacom to sell joint ads against the VMAs.
The plan, it seemed, had worked. Facebook confirmed as much by launching a desperate looking PR campaign to both journalists and the public, making the case that Facebook, not Twitter, is the true home of real-time activity on the internet. For example: A quick glance at my Facebook timeline reveals a lot of ads, some personal updates, some funny links and precisely zero stories about Twitter's IPO.
With that, Twitter had created and demonstrated its pitch. This is what we’ll hear: Twitter is the home of the real time web. Twitter is the best way to buy ads against the second screen. Twitter is a layer of potential profit overlaid over the any buzzy activity, soft or hard, in the public conversation. Twitter is a way to inject ads into things that are happening — not place them against people or content.
If it works, the Twitter experience will stay largely the same as what we have now. It will become more visual, as reported today by Matt Buchanan at the New Yorker, as has been the trend over the last year, and will introduce more things into users' feeds without their permission. Some of these things will be ads.
And yes, there will be more ads, but they will feel familiar. They will become more and more like tweets from the people you follow, and will more closely follow the subjects they're tweeting about. Twitter will also create the first modern way to invest directly in news volume. Twitter will sell more ads during big news and media events, a fact that will not be lost of Twitter's potential investors. And you can only imagine the boiler-room stock pitches to retail investors.
Anyway, that's what happens if it does work. If it doesn't? Well, anything goes. Facebook had a novel pitch like this too, which didn't work out so well. Zuckerberg sold investors on the idea that, based on relationship data, Facebook could target ads better than anything else in the world — if Twitter's pitch is about timeliness, Facebook's was about personalization. But Facebook's graph never quite delivered, so it started trying new things. Facebook did figure out how to make money, but in a way that's not novel at all: by shoving a bunch of semi-relevant ads in front of its billion users, not unlike what Google has been doing for years.
Twitter could end up the same way. And who knows! Facebook might still find a new, novel ad type to monopolize; for now they seem fixated on copying Twitter's.
For the most part, though, post-IPO will look a lot like what Twitter has looked like for the past six months. Open your timelines. Notice the ads. Think about where they came from. This is the pitch — you're looking at it.
Microsoft has said that voice chat over Xbox One will sound noticeably superior to that of the Xbox 360, and today it’s offering up audio samples to prove it. Xbox spokesperson Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) has posted a side-by-side comparison to illustrate just how dramatic the difference is. And although each clip is only three seconds in length, the boost in quality is immediately apparent. As for how Microsoft pulled off the upgrade, it’s a two-pronged approach. First, the Xbox One takes advantage of Skype’s audio codec, which Hyrb says “has a proven track record of high-quality voice through billions of hours of use.”
But there’s also new hardware at play here. “The Xbox One wireless controller’s new expansion port dramatically…