Posts tagged wants

SearchCap: Spain Wants Back, Google News Archive & AdWords Countdown

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: New Widget In AdWords Makes Countdown Copy Easy Quickly set up dynamic countdowns in ads without having to type variable strings. Quickly set up dynamic…



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Facebook’s Trending Wants To Be Your Mobile News Reader

Facebook finally made Trending, its Twitter-like zeitgeist-monitoring feature, available for mobile on Wednesday, along with updates designed to keep all eyes focused on the social media app. 

Trending, introduced in January, was limited to Facebook’s desktop interface. Appearing on the right side of the screen, Trending lists top conversations on the social network, including a summary and links to topical posts from friends and Pages. The new mobile rollout, available for Android now and coming to iOS soon, adds five separate, easy-to-navigate sections. With this update, Facebook is attempting to cover every aspect of how we ingest information in the social media era.

Mobile users will now be able to monitor information as it is reported by news outlets. They will also be able to see news as it is commented on by friends—as well as any Facebook user posting publicly or even in the vicinity of a news event—by scrolling through these five Trending categories:

  1. Articles: News stories about the trending topic.  
  2. In the Story: Facebook posts from people involved in the story, which you don’t need to be their Facebook “friend” to view.
  3. Friends and Groups: What people you are connected to on Facebook are saying about the topic.
  4. Near the Scene: Geo-located posts from people near a news event. 
  5. Live Feed: The most Twitter-like feature which shows you a real-time stream of reactions from Facebook users. 

Facebook is keenly focused on usurping Twitter’s reputation as the go-to social network for breaking serious news. While this latest update won’t shake the cred Twitter has accumulated over the years, it may go far towards training its mobile users to turn to Facebook for the news. 

Lead image courtesy of Facebook.

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Bitcoin Black Friday Wants You To Remember Bitcoin Exists

Spending bitcoins is a little bit like spending gold. Most stores don’t accept it, and owners want to hold on to it anyway just in case the value hikes up.

Bitcoin Black Friday is Jon Holmquist’s solution to stagnating Bitcoin transactions. Amid a recent report that 70% of Bitcoins remain unspent for six months or more, the Nov. 28 shopping day aims to entice owners of the cryptocurrency to make purchases. With Friday-only discounts offered from online merchants for those who pay with bitcoin, it also aims to improve and increase Bitcoin’s public image through an increasingly large shopping event.

See also: Bitcoin Black Friday Aims To Get People To Actually Spend Their Bitcoins

Holmquist, founder of Bitcoin Black Friday, lists the one-day event as his primary employment on his LinkedIn. He spends a major part of the year reaching out to Bitcoin merchants about participating and drumming up publicity on Bitcoin forums.

This year marks the third annual Bitcoin Black Friday. In 2012, it was held on Nov. 9, a second anniversary of sorts for Bitcoin. Holmquist moved it to the more traditional day-after-Thanksgiving date and experienced a jump from 75 merchants to around 600, netting about 100,000 visitors to the Bitcoin Black Friday central hub, according to Holmquist.

“The big problem for us is that most merchants don’t want to plan ahead,” Holmquist told NBC. “It’s a lot of smaller merchants, so they put it off until the day of or the day before.”

In 2013, Holmquist reported that Bitcoin sales hit the equivalent of $6 million during the event. This year, he told NBC that 1,200 merchants are expected to take part. There are as many as 80,000 Bitcoin-accepting merchants globally, the New York Times reports, so Bitcoin Black Friday has a lot of room to grow. Mainly, Holmquist hopes to use the event to attract people who aren’t already Bitcoin users to consider the currency.

“We have two things planned,” he told NBC, regarding low-risk purchasing options. “First is the ability to instantly purchase bitcoin with your credit card: a small amount, like $25 worth. For most people, that’s not too much of a risk. And we’re also going to have a section [of the site] where you can purchase something for a small amount of money.”

Holmquist has a lot of allies in the form of merchants who are finally willing to bet big on Bitcoin. PayPal announced in September that it had entered into agreements with Bitcoin payment processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin, allowing just about any merchant who uses PayPal to accept Bitcoin payments. Several major companies like such as Dell and Showroomprive in Europe have also begun to recently accept Bitcoin payments.

See also: The Mt. Gox Implosion Is Bitcoin’s First Financial Crisis

Since last year, the value of a single Bitcoin has crashed from north of $1,000 at the end of 2013 to about $370 today. The plummet is credited in part to the fall of Mt. Gox, a formerly popular Bitcoin exchange that no longer exists. Now that people are less likely to see Bitcoins as nest eggs, and the options for spending them are ever increasing, they may be more willing to part with them. 

Photo by btckeychain

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Snapchat Wants You To Stop Using Third Party Apps

Snapchat will now begin warning users when it detects they are using third party apps, the company’s Tuesday blog post reads.

“Starting today, we will notify Snapchatters when we have detected that they may be using third-party apps and we’ll ask those Snapchatters to change their password and stop using unauthorized apps,” the company wrote.

See also: Snapchat Blames Victims In Nude Photo Leak

Ever since an October attack made 13 GB of thousands of Snapchat user photos public, the company has been doing damage control, blaming its users for downloading third-party tools and programs to integrate with Snapchat.

Usually, third-party programs are perfectly secure when it comes to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more which offer a public API for developers who want to make tools that integrate with a network. However, Snapchat’s API isn’t available, developers are forced to use a less secure workaround of accessing user credentials. That’s what happened with SnapSaved, the third party site hacked in October’s photo leak.

See also: Snapchat Claims It Can’t Afford To Keep Your Photos Secure

Snapchat is valued at $10 billion, with its 24-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel paying himself a $10 million salary, but the company said it cannot afford to make and maintain a trustworthy API or developer program available. Users will simply have to learn that even if third-party applications are safe most of the time, the Snapchat ecosystem is not.

Snapchat’s alternate solution is to warn users if they are using third party programs, tell them to stop, and prompt them to change their password. It’s certainly a cheap solution to the problem, but not one that benefits the user.

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SmartThings Wants To Make Samsung Work Harder In Your Home

Home automation platform SmartThings unveiled Wednesday new modules for support for Samsung devices. This in itself is not surprising, given that Samsung acquired SmartThings in August. What’s new is the extended functionality it lends to your home appliances.

See also: Samsung Buys Smart-Home Outfit SmartThings, Reportedly For $200 Million

With SmartThings integration, your fridge isn’t just a fridge.

It’s a central hub that takes the features a refrigerator usually uses for keeping your food cold, and utilizes them for the additional tasks of monitoring the humidity and temperature in your home. If there’s a leak in the basement, your fridge will know—and alert you on your phone.

Neither is your vacuum simply a vacuum. Thanks to the Roomba boom just about everyone is familiar with the convenience of a tiny robot that cleans your floor, but SmartThings takes it a step further. It utilizes the robot’s ambulatory abilities as a security guard. When SmartThings detects unexpected movement around your home, it can deploy the vacuum to investigate, and use the vacuum’s camera to monitor what’s going on.

Additional modules include support for a Samsung air conditioner and laundry machine, which will be utilized to monitor and conserve energy use. Aside from remote controls and alerts for using the appliances for their original purpose, you will also be able to track energy usage and control the temperature in the house when you’re not there.

See also: Why Samsung Buying SmartThings Should Have Us Worried

Our appliances contain sophisticated computer mechanisms, and may already be smarter than they seem—we’re just not using them to their full potential. SmartThings’ goal seems to be to make each Samsung appliance a multitasker, utilizing them in unexpected ways.

SmartThings devices are currently on sale in North America, but expected to make their way to the global marketplace sometime in 2015.

Photo via SmartThings

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The Real Reason No One Wants To Link To You

Wondering why no one is linking to you? Julie Joyce gives you the lowdown on why your site isn’t as linkworthy as it could be.

The post The Real Reason No One Wants To Link To You appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Facebook Wants You To Help Eradicate Ebola

Mark Zuckerberg has done his part to fight Ebola, and is now encouraging Facebook users to do the same.

When Zuckerberg donated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight Ebola, his post was “liked” nearly 300,000 times. To help those hundreds of thousands of people who care about eradicating the disease, Facebook will publish a donate button across the top of its users’ News Feeds starting Thursday.

See also: Docker May Be A Great Developer Tech, But It Doesn’t Cure Ebola

The donate button will sit on top of users’ news feeds for a week, Recode reports, and will offer donation options for three different charities: the American Red Cross, the International Medical Corps, and Save the Children.

Aside from the donate button, Facebook will also be donating 100 wireless hotspots to first responders in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Africa holds about 100 million Facebook users, or roughly half of Africa’s entire Internet-connected population, and this will increase the company’s efforts to get the entire continent online.

Photo by the European Commission

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Unicode Wants To Fix Emoji’s Ethnicity Problem

Emoji may soon become as racially diverse as the people who use them.

In the latest Unicode Consortium report covering the emoji standard, a new section titled “Diversity” drafted a proposal to implement skin tone options users can select while they text.

“People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone,” the report reads.

See also: Emoji and the iPhone-Fueled Rise of Talking in Tiny Pictures

Emoji were invented in Japan 1999 and continue to go by their original name, which means “picture letter” in Japanese. The Unicode Consortium notes that emoji were originally intended to have a “a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette,” but Japanese carriers soon set a light skinned precedent, intending the emoji to look like the Japanese people who first used them.

Since emoji use has long since spread from Japan to the rest of the world, emoji diversity is overdue. The Unicode Consortium wants to establish six skin tones for emoji based on the Fitzpatrick scale, a global skin tone classification dermatologists use in their studies.

The proposal is just a draft right now, but Unicode Consortium president and co-founder Mark Davis told the Washington Post that he’s optimistic it will be approved.

“It isn’t completely set in stone;​ we are still collecting feedback on the proposal. But I think it is very likely,” he said.

Illustration via the Unicode Consortium

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Google Calendar Wants To Help Make Scheduling Simpler

Google will help you make plans quicker and easier with its refreshed Calendar application launched on Monday.

Calendar’s update is the latest in Google’s efforts to create anticipatory apps that adjust to your behavior. In October, the company unveiled a revamped Google Play Music service that adjusts to the listener’s mood or preferences, and its new Inbox email application automatically sorts emails into different bundles, and will eventually learn how to sort users’ emails overtime.

See Also: How The Internet Will Tell You What To Eat, Where To Go, And Even Who To Date 

Calendar’s refreshed look fits in with Google’s “material design,” a flatter interface that streamlines the design across mobile and desktop operating systems.  

New updates make it simple to create events right from emails, like vacations or flight plans, and a “schedule view,” pulls photos from places you’re going and illustrates different events with graphics like cocktails for happy hours on your calendar. 

New suggestions, which Google calls “assists,” will predict different events and people you’ll be meeting up with, and learn your behavior overtime. For instance, if you regularly grab drinks at a specific bar with your friend Lauren on Tuesday, Google will suggest the entire event when you type “drinks.” 

Calendar will work on Android 4.1+ devices and is available today on devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop. The update will be available to download on Google Play in the next few weeks, and the company said it’s also working on a version for iPhone.

Images courtesy of Google

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Nintendo Just Wants To Watch You Sleep

Game company Nintendo has developed a fatigue and sleep deprivation sensor (via GameSpot) that functions without ever touching your body. 

Instead, Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata says, the sensor can be placed on a nightstand to monitor you while you sleep. Its hands-free approach to health tracking has the company calling the device the first of its kind.

These are the first details we’ve heard about Nintendo’s “quality of life” suite of products, due to be released in 2016.

See also: Nintendo’s Next Big Idea: A “Quality Of Life” Console

“Inside the QOL Sensor is a non-contact radio frequency sensor, which measures such things as the movements of your body, breathing and heartbeat, all without physically touching your body,” Iwata said, speaking to investors at the company’s second-quarter earnings results briefing Thursday.

The device is able to function without physical touch because it uses radio waves to monitor a user’s heart rate, movement, respiration and fatigue. Once it collects the data, it transfers it  to Nintendo’s servers for analysis.

And since this is the company that brought us Mario and Luigi, Iwata said Nintendo’s ultimate goal is to find a way to gamify sleep tracking for users.

“We expect the QOL-improving platform to provide us with new themes which we can then turn into games that operate on our future video game platforms too,” Iwata said. “Once we have established such a cycle, we will see continuous positive interactions between the two platforms that enable us to make unique propositions.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock; graphic from Nintendo (via GameSpot)

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