Snapchat’s Back, All Right
Apr08

Snapchat’s Back, All Right

It’s not like it ever disappeared, but we thoroughly enjoy pop cultural references (#TBT to the Backstreet Boys glory days) and felt it was fitting. Anyways, Snapchat came out with some new updates earlier this week and they are as follows: Friend Emojis Friend emojis replace Snapchat’s Best Friends list. The new feature categorizes your Snapchat friendships with emoticons so you both know where you stand in your snapship. Here’s how Buzzfeed broke it down for us: For those of you who need more information on how these emojis are defining your snapships, please turn your attention to this example of Snapchat’s new system, using the one and only Queen Bey. Also, major props to Josh Constine from TechCrunch for explaining this new concept to us via his Snapchat Story (you’re the real MVP) and bringing this graphic into our lives. The new friend emojis come at a somewhat controversial time for the app users. The Best Friends lists, that you had no option to hide, caused a recent controversy among the pre-teen and teenage demographic when Snapchat removed it. How are you supposed to know if “bae”* is loyal if you can’t check up on who he/she is snapchatting? *It causes me physical pain to use that word. MAKE IT STOP, WORLD. Well, Snapchat removed the feature a couple of weeks ago, only to come out with this alternative method of ranking and defining your Snapchat relationship. Only now you are the only person who can see the emojis on your incoming snap screen. Looks like users are back to the drawing board when it comes to cyberstalking friends on Snapchat. Low-Light Camera Another new feature for Snapchat is the low-light camera. Snapchat’s camera had subpar lighting abilities for dark resolution pictures compared to other apps using cameras. The crescent moon icon at the top of your camera screen fixes that problem. You can turn it on or off to adjust for the dim lighting by brightening the resolution, making Snapchat more usable for concerts, parties, and other night-life adventures. Please snap responsibly. Needs Love List This is a list of snapchat users and friends that you used to snapchat frequently, but haven’t snapped in a while. Snapchat created a list of your friends that need some love from you because the cats just aren’t cutting it these days. All in all, we think Snapchats new features are going to bring some changes to how users go about Snapchatting. I for one am making it a new personal goal to keep my fire emojis blazing day in and day out. We’ll see how long the streak can last....

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Button Pushing – Amazon Dash
Apr03

Button Pushing – Amazon Dash

Earlier this week, Amazon launched what a majority of the Internet mistook as an outlandish April Fool’s Day joke – the Amazon Dash button. After all, who would actually create  a button that reorders household supplies the day before April first and expect people to take it seriously? Well, Amazon did, so once again the Internet is wrong, for the Dash button is no laughing matter. Instead, it’s an invite-only product, offering a way for Amazon Prime users to easily replenish the common household items and groceries they order from Amazon at the push of a button. Amazon has enlisted certain brands that distribute products through their website to send Prime users Dash buttons. Customers can stick the buttons around their house and push them when they’re running low on their product of choice. But how does this magical button of dashing wonder work, you ask? Say you’re an avid user of Bounty paper towels – it’s the only quicker picker upper in your life, no other brand will ever suffice. But you’re almost out. LE GASP! What a travesty – the world will STOP without your paper towels. You’re simply too busy to a) go to the grocery store, or b) go on Amazon.com and reorder them because that’s something reserved for commoners. Thankfully, you live a life of luxury and convenience with Amazon Prime and requested a Bounty Dash button. Push the battery operated, Wi-Fi enabled button that is situated right next to your classy paper towel holder, confirm the order on your smartphone, and in two short days the doorbell will ring as drones deliver your paper towels. VOILA! Your day is saved, the crisis has been averted, the world will continue turning. What about my kids? Will a fleet of Bounty paper towel trucks pull up to my front door if they get ahold of my beloved Dash button? In a word: no. Amazon actually thought this out and created a safety feature for those of you with button loving children. If little Tommy or Sally happens to push the Bounty button 4,000 or so times a day, you will NOT receive 4,000 rolls of paper towels. Amazon will only deliver one order at a time, so if you pushed the button yesterday and Tommy pushed it today, they won’t place Tommy’s order until yours has been delivered. And the button is synced with the Amazon app on your phone so you’ll get an alert whenever an order has been placed that you can easily delete. Personally, my inner button lover ADORES this product because button pushing is fun whether it’s an elevator button or my mother’s nerves. However, at this point in my life, I’m resolutely confident I will...

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On Comet, On Cupid, On-Body, On Blitzen
Apr01

On Comet, On Cupid, On-Body, On Blitzen

Hold your horses, or in this case reindeer, because it’s not quite time for Santa Clause to be coming to town. But our favorite Internet and technology elves (aka geniuses) at Google have been hard at work on something special down in Silicon Valley for Android users. Google’s working on rolling out a new smart lock mode, coined “on-body,” that will leave your phone unlocked when the accelerometer recognizes the phone is in your hand, pocket, purse, or anywhere on your person. When the phone’s sensors detect the phone has been set down, it will lock the screen and you have to manually unlock is (which is such a hassle). The idea behind on-body is that if you leave your phone sitting on a table somewhere – say, at Starbucks when your drink is ready – then potential thieves can’t steal it and easily access your data. Why you are leaving your phone unattended on the table and walking away is beyond us; you might as well just give it to a stranger on the street and hope for the best. Still, if local coffee shop thieves stealing your phone and accessing your data keeps you up at night, you can rest easy knowing on-body is here to save your day. Unfortunately, it’s not a foolproof solution. On-body will continue to keep your phone unlocked as long as the accelerometer detects it is being held or carried. So if you pass your phone off to a friend or someone snatches it out of your hand, the phone has no way of knowing whether it’s in your hand or not. If that’s the case, your phone will remain unlocked and your data is accessible to whomever is holding the phone until they set it down, which is bad news bears for you. Of course, you have the option of pairing on-body with the other smart lock features such as trusted face and trusted places to better your phone’s security, so all hope is not...

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.sucks Domain Coming Soon
Mar26

.sucks Domain Coming Soon

The day where you’ll be able to dedicate an entire website towards your dislike of a brand, your love of a sport, or your obsession with a country is finally on the horizon. Come June, you’ll be able to purchase a domain name that’s specific to the intended purpose of your website. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) released a list of 500+ top-level domain names under which the public can register their websites. That list includes everything from .sucks and .porn to .news and .Budapest, with more domain names added daily. We can’t wait to see what these new domain names bring to the Internet world – the creative potential is endless – but some options will be spoken for. ICANN is giving trademarks and celebrities first dibs on any possible sites that could be registered using their names. Celebrities like Taylor Swift and entities such as Harvard and Microsoft are taking advantage of the early access period and have already registered for certain domain names to protect their brands. There’s some chatter from companies suggesting that these domain names are a form of extortion, compelling firms to buy them so others don’t taint their brand. Logically, it makes sense that some people would be ticked off but still scoop up the negative domain names to be safe. What they don’t see is this is also an opportunity to address customer complaints and see how they can improve their brand. It’s one of those glass half-full, glass half-empty instances where the situation really depends on your perspective. For those of you who can’t wait for these new domain names to be released to the public, start saving your money (each domain registration is around $250) and start counting down until June. We’ll be on the lookout for the sad, funny, and outrageous...

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The End of Internet Explorer Draws Near
Mar25

The End of Internet Explorer Draws Near

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to say our goodbyes. Here she lies; very few knew her worth – the late, formerly great browser of Microsoft – and we celebrate her inevitable end. Rejoice, speedy and secure web-browser-lovers, for Microsoft has announced the phase-out of Internet Explorer. For those of you who still swear by the formerly flawless, currently ill-fated browser, we express our condolences for your loss, but it’s time to move on. At the Windows Convergence conference in Atlanta, Microsoft announced Project Spartan, the code-name of its next generation web browser and it addressed plans to phase-out Internet Explorer. First released in the mid 1990s, Internet Explorer dominated the browser market and peaked in the early 2000s. Since then, it’s commonly associated with slow loading times, security risks, and poor compatibility with other browsers. Microsoft plans to rebrand its image in terms of web browsers around Project Spartan. While much is still to be determined, including the final name of the browser, current features that are supposedly set in stone include: Cortana – Microsoft’s personal web assistant, Annotation tools that are compatible with keyboards & pens, A streamlined layout, and A reading mode Internet Explorer will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 and Microsoft will make sure its new model is compatible with the software that operates solely on Internet Explorer. But for the most part, it’s gotta be going to that Best Buy in the sky, where it will be join long-time pal Clippy in Internet heaven (or hell, depending on your perspective). Farewell, Internet Explorer. Note: The beginning of this post is inspired by the creative genius that is “La Vie Boheme” from the Broadway production RENT, to which we do not own the rights, but hold in the very highest...

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