04 PM | 31 Jul

Expedia Travels Back in Time to Recreate Your Best Throwback Thursday Photos

expedia

Expedia and 180LA have done a nice job lately of thinking more broadly about the concept of travel, going beyond physical journeys into emotional, even spiritual ones. (Among its more memorable ads was the 2012 spot about the father’s difficult journey to accepting his lesbian daughter.)

Now, the travel site is getting even more ambitious—and more social—as it travels back in time with a fun project around people’s Throwback Thursday photos.

Between now and the end of August, Expedia is asking Instagram and Twitter users to tag their #tbt photo with @Expedia and #ThrowMeBack. Each week the company will pick one lucky winner and give them a travel voucher so they can indulge their nostagia and return to the place where the photo was taken—and recreate it.

Or, says Expedia, you can travel somewhere different and make a new memory—which seems to suggest this campaign is less about actually recreating the old snapshots and more about just piggybacking on the #tbt trend in general. However, the brand is asking the winners to send in the recreated photos with the goal at the end of the campaign of telling a photo story with all the side-by-sides.

To read more, click here.

04 PM | 31 Jul

Twitter acquires real-time social data company Trendrr to help it better tap into TV and media

twitter

Twitter has acquired social analytics company Trendrr. The move will surely enhance Twitter’s offering as it partners with more media companies and is becoming widely used in various industries, including the entertainment induustry. As a result of the acquisition, Trendrr’s founder Mark Ghuneim says existing contracts will be honored for Trendrr.TV, but it is not accepting new business anymore.

In announcing his company’s acquisition, Ghuneim states:

Having sat at this intersection of TV and social media for years, we’ve analyzed data from lots of platforms. What makes Twitter uniquely compelling among these platforms is its connection to the live moment — people sharing what’s happening, when it’s happening, to the world. We think we can help amplify even stronger the power of that connection to the moment inside of Twitter.

To read more, click here.

04 PM | 31 Jul

Audi App Turns Your iPhone Into a Robust User Manual

audi

If you drive an Audi A1 or A3 but aren’t particularly knowledgeable in the car department, Audi’s got you covered.

Using the German car company’s newly updated eKurzinfo app (German for “short info”), you can aim your iPhone camera at various parts of your Audi car. The app then identifies the parts in augmented reality and offers relevant information for that particular part, as shown in the video above.

The app basically converts your smartphone into a detailed user manual, complete with diagrams that explains more than 300 different car parts work. All the image recognition and information is pulled in real time from the cloud, so users don’t have to download updates in order to expand the app’s database.

However, the downside with this technology is that constant access to Wi-Fi is required. The app is also only available for iOS, with language options in English, German and Japanese.

German augmented reality company Metaio developed Audi’s eKurzinfo. The company also created Ikea’s 2014 augmented reality catalog.

To read more, click here.

03 PM | 31 Jul

Woz Says He Wants Apple To Make An iWatch And iPhones With Bigger Displays

woz

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is one to shy away from sharing his opinions on the state of Apple, but rather than giving a speech on the advice he would impart to Tim Cook, Woz recently shared his Apple product wishlist, which includes wearable computers and bigger displays.

During a recent interview with Reuters, Woz says that he wants Apple to make an iWatch that is as complete in functionality as the current iPhone. The wishlist also includes larger screens on the iPhone, more customizations, and a happy room full of Dreamers thinking up how to change the world with a product that you wouldn’t call a phone.

To Read more, click here.

03 PM | 31 Jul

PayPal Testing Face-Verification System for Mobile Payments

paypal

While we’re not quite scanning retinas à la Mission Impossible and Minority Report, PayPal is now testing face verification for mobile-payment transactions.

The ecommerce company’s app has a tab labeled “Local,” which helps users find nearby stores and restaurants that accept mobile PayPal payments. Once customers check in to a venue online, their name and photo appear on the store’s PayPal app. Shoppers can then use the app to pay for items (cashiers complete the transaction by clicking on their profile pic).

“We’re pleased to help local businesses of all sizes offer a new more personal experience, while never having to turn away customers who don’t have enough cash on them to pay,” Rob Harper, head of retail services at PayPal, said in a release.

What’s more, the app could act as a preventative measure against identity theft.

Select businesses in London began testing PayPal’s face-verification feature and app earlier this month.

What do you think of making payments with your photo? Would you find it useful? Tell us in the comments, below.

To read more, click here.

03 PM | 31 Jul

The Point Chrome extension will let you share and chat within articles

chrome

Typically when you share an article with your friends it’s hard to continue the conversation unless they comment on Facebook or reply on Twitter. With the Point Chrome extension,you can take that conversation right into the article.

0730 point 220×152 The Point Chrome extension will let you share and chat within articlesThe Point Chrome extension, available for free, gives you the ability to share an article with friends and chat within the article page in real time. Plus, you can highlight portions of the article and share it in the chat window.

Once the extension is installed, you can sign in with your Facebook or Google+ account and invite friends to share articles and chat with. But once they join, the conversations are in the Point network. In other words, it’s not using Google Hangouts or Facebook Messenger for conversations.

To read more, click here.

03 PM | 31 Jul

Twitter Needs to Monetize You, Even If You’re Not on Twitter

twitter

Even if you have never tweeted, don’t have any followers or have never visited Twitter.com, chances are you have still seen a tweet at some point in your life.

Twitter knows this, and it’s trying to figure out how to make money off it.

The social media site demonstrated solid growth in its most-watched measurement — monthly active users (MAUs) — in its second-quarter earnings report on Tuesday. An unexpected profit, a positive outlook and growing revenue per 1,000 timeline views (a Twitter metric for how well it is making money from its platform), all pointed to brighter days ahead.

Investors responded in kind, as shares in the social media company, which had been battered in 2014, shot up as much as 35% in after-hours trading, settling closer to 25% on Wednesday morning before the market open.

To read more, click here.

03 PM | 31 Jul

Scientists discover the moon is shaped like a lemon

moon

Although our visit to its rocky surface confirmed that it’s not covered in vast seas, it’s not home to strange moon-men, and it’s not made of cheese, the moon can still surprise us. It’s only this week that scientists have revealed that, 45 years after Neil Armstrong set foot on the planetoid, our closest celestial neighbor is not actually round.

CRATERS HAVE MADE WORKING OUT THE MOON’S SHAPE TRICKY

It’s more of a squashed sphere, with a distinct lump. Ian Garrick-Bethell, who authored the study published in Nature, describes it as “like a lemon with an equatorial bulge,” or like a water balloon that flattens out as it’s spun. But why, given that it spins much slower on its axis than the Earth and has none of our planet’s plate tectonics, is the moon not a perfect sphere? Garrick-Bethell and his team instead ascribed the shape to a process known as tidal heating, in which early orbital forces between the Earth and the moon caused friction in the latter’s interior, causing its crust to expand outward in certain places. As the planetoid moved further away from our planet and slowed down its rotation, one such tidal surge was frozen in place, explaining the modern moon’s strange bulge.

To read more, click here.

03 PM | 31 Jul

Facebook Is Forcing Messenger on Users and They Aren’t Happy About It

facebook

If Foursquare’s attempt to force users into Swarm taught us anything, it’s that people really don’t like being forced into using apps.

Facebook, never one to heed the lessons of history, will soon be forcing its iOS and Android users over to Facebook Messenger, and many users aren’t happy about it.

Facebook sent an email to users Monday, alerting them that messages will soon be disappearing from Facebook’s iPhone and Android app (for now, messages will remain available in the iPad and Windows Phone app, as well as on the mobile web and desktop.)

While Facebook has been suggesting users make the switch over to Messenger for some time, the social network stopped short of actually forcing users to do so. But over the next few days, users who have yet to download Messenger will see new reminders prompting them to get it. Eventually, messages will disappear entirely and users will only be able to check messages via the web or Messenger app (users of the main app will still get message notifications, however).

To read more, click here.