Lomography’s $35 DIY Camera: Fun to Build, a Pain to Use
Building a camera is not easy. I know this because I spent nearly two hours during a recent weekend trying to put together the Lomography Konstruktor, a DIY 35mm film SLR (single-lens reflex) camera.
Lomography is widely known for its toy cameras. The Diana and Fisheye Baby are two popular toy cameras that come to mind. And while buying a film camera instead of a digital one today is akin to buying a bulky CRT television instead of a flatscreen high-definition TV, that hasn’t stopped Lomography from releasing cameras that try to bring back the nostalgia of the bygone analog days. With a low $35 price, is the Konstruktor more toy than camera? Read more…More about Reviews, Diy, Cameras, Tech, and Gadgets
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What Men and Women Want — in a Phone
When it comes to smartphone purchases, men and women want the same thing: not too expensive, intuitive features and holds a charge like a champ.
However, there are subtle differences between men and women’s preferences in a new phone. According to a new Nielsen survey conducted in more than 58 countries, female respondents cared more about price, contract terms and camera capabilities; men gravitated toward attributes such as operating system, screen size and processor speed.
See also: 10 Best iPhone Apps of 2013
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Fake App Promotes Drinking, Fools Media
Imagine a smartphone app that encourages heavy drinking. The more you drink, the more games and activities the app offers. You can drunk dial strangers who also have the app. You can see where other drunk people are near you, and even how drunk they are. Just plug in your handy breathalyzer into a smartphone, breath on it and join the fun!
Two actors playing techies by the names of Avery Platz and Kyle Addison designed and promoted just such an app, which was picked up by several news outletsGizmodo reporter Brian Barrett revealed one of the creators’ identities earlier Friday, confirming thatLivr, the fictitious app that promotes drinking is, in fact, a hoax Read more…More about Apps, Comedy, Startups, Tech, and Apps Software
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Bacon Alarms and Talking Hands: Tech Marketing Is Getting Weird
The video started off like any other high concept fashion video would:Aa beautiful woman in a scenic restaurant, a whispered narration reciting a poetic script, bacon raining down from the sky — wait a minute, bacon rain?
See also: YouTube’s 20 Most-Shared Ads of February
Oscar Mayer announced this week that it will be releasing an alarm clock that wakes you up to the sounds and smells of bacon. Bacon lovers everywhere rejoiced while vegetarians threw up a little in their mouths. Either way, we were all a little weirded out.
However, nothing prepared us for LG’s bizarre video promo for the new G Flex curved phone. It has since taken the ad down, but it featured one of the most nightmare-inducing hand prosthetics ever seen in a phone ad. Read more…More about Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Media, Technology, and Bacon
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iBeacon Comes to SXSW
AUSTIN, Texas — If you need any more proof that iBeacon is one of the hottest technology trends of 2014, look no further than this year’s SXSW festival
The official SXSW mobile app is powered by iBeacon — Apple’s name for the innovative Bluetooth LE (aka Bluetooth Smart) technology that allows two-way communication to take place between devices. We’ve seen iBeacon implementations in retail environments and at stadiums, but this is one of the first times we’ve seen iBeacon technology utilized at an event like SXSW.
iOS users who download the official SXSW app can take advantage of iBeacon in select sessions and when picking up their badges. For instance, when the user is in the vicinity of the SXSW registration area, the user will get a notification containing their Registration QuickCode. Read more…More about Sxsw 09, Bluetooth, Marketing, Tech, and Apps Software
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T-Mobile Jacks Up the Monthly Price of ‘Unlimited’ by $10
The wireless price war is ongoing, but T-Mobile may have just shot itself in the foot. The so-called “un-carrier” is giving customers on its Simple Choice plan more data, although for those who like everything unlimited, the price just went up by $10 a month.
T-Mobile is overhauling its Simple Choice plan, which it launched a year ago when it did away with wireless contracts, into four different levels (there are currently three). While every plan includes unlimited talk, text and data, limits apply on how much of that data can travel on the carrier’s high-speed 4G network, and how much can be used for tethering another device, such as a laptop. Read more…More about T Mobile, 4g, Hspa, Tech, and Mobile
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Samsung Jumps Into the Internet Radio Race — Without Ads
Samsung is the latest company with music on the brain
The manufacturer is going up against iTunes Radio, Pandora and Spotify with its newly-announced ad-free radio service called Milk Music. The service, which is powered by Slacker and includes a library of 13 million songs, is only available for download via the Google Play store if you have a Galaxy smartphone or tablet. Even if you have an Android device, you won’t be able to download the app without a Samsung Galaxy-branded device.
Similar to how you would use an old radio dial to find stations, Milk Music lets you to move your finger over the touchscreen to tune between the stations. You can choose from about 200 curated stations — everything from pop hits (’80s, ’90s, etc.) to jazz. You can star songs you like, add them to playlists and pick stations based on artists. A nice perk is that you don’t have to sign up for an account or even log in via a social network to gain access Read more…More about Music, Samsung, Internet Radio, Tech, and Apps Software
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Pinterest’s first transparency report: 12 government requests for data on 13 accounts in second half of 2013
Pinterest today published its first transparency report. The company revealed it only received 7 warrants and 5 subpoenas about a grand total of 13 user accounts in the second half of 2013 (July through December).
Pinterest says all 12 of its law enforcement requests were from agencies in the US, and 11 came from state or local agencies. The breakdown was as follows: CA (4), FL (2), UT (2), NY (1), OR (1), and WI (1).
Pinterest gives notice to users whose information has been requested unless it is specifically prohibited to do so by the law. Of the 12 law enforcement requests it received, Pinterest was prohibited three times by the law from notifying users, and in one case it refused to provide information in the first place.
“Every company that stores information — from banks to phone companies to email providers — must respond to requests for that information from folks like law enforcement agencies, courts, and others,” Pinterest explains. “We think it’s important that you know about these requests.”
Ever since the NSA fiasco blew up, tech companies have been making an increased effort to be transparent about what law enforcement asks of them. Behemoths like Apple, Google, and Microsoft all share data, but even sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr recently joined the fray.
Pinterest stands out in that its government data requests are orders of magnitude lower. Instead of being in the thousands or hundreds, it gets just a handful. Whether that changes over the years will largely depend on how quickly the service grows and whether it ever lets users post more than just basic pins.
See also – Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft disclose new data about number of NSA requests received and Here’s the letter Apple, Google, Microsoft and others sent to the US government over data requests
Top Image Credit: Karen Bleier/Getty Images
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Facebook launches Public Content Solutions program to help media partners use its APIs for public events
Facebook today launched the Public Content Solutions (PCS) program to provide dedicated technical and business resources to media partners building solutions on top of Facebook and Instagram. The company is starting off with supporting its Keyword Insights API and Public Feed API, both of which help companies leverage the massive amounts of data and content associated with public events.
Facebook promises it will grow the program over time to include more APIs, tools, and support resources for the media industry. For now though, partners will receive a badge for display on their sites, as well as marketing materials, dedicated technical support from the PCS team, and access to Facebook’s Media Partnerships team.
Initial partners in the PCS program include Arktan, telescope, never.no, Timeline Labs, Tagboard, Vizrt, Reality Check, and SnappyTV. More partners will be added in due time. Meanwhile, Facebook is asking for interested developers “building compelling, high impact solutions for media companies” to shoot the company an email.
See also – Facebook opens up its social TV data for the first time in partnership with UK analytics firm SecondSync and Facebook takes on Twitter with new tools to give TV broadcasters access to its user data
Image Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
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