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Smartphone Etiquette: The do’s and don’ts

Published by on Sep 26th, 2014, No Comments

Smartphone EWe live in an interconnected world. We have information at our fingertips, can communicate with anyone in the world instantly and digitally capture and share memories and feelings for all to see. What is even more amazing is that we can do all of this from just one device. Yes, many products these days allow for a better experience in one of the aforementioned categories but no device currently available does it with the ease, mobility and speed that the modern day smartphone offers.

It has become an essential tool for the everyday individual. With technology becoming smarter and easier to produce, even very low income groups have the ability of owning a smartphone. The little device has become our constant companion, eating electricity at night to be able to obey your commands during the day. But has this ever present companion taken its toll on our social abilities and the way we interact with those around us? (more…)

China now has special sidewalk lanes for those using cellphones

Published by on Sep 15th, 2014, 1 Comment

Cellphone lanes China

The City of Chongqing in China seems to fed up with people walking while texting on their cellphones. Obviously, this can become quite the hazard when people are so engrossed in their conversations, that they don’t look where they are walking.

So, the city has enforced new ‘rules’ that look to try and curb this annoying millennial problem.

On a 30 meter stretch of sidewalk, the city has made two lanes; one for those using cellphones and the other for those who don’t. Painted on the sidewalk, in both Chinese and English, the sign reads: “Cellphones, walk in this lane at your own risk” and the other reading: “No cellphones.”

Sure, it may seem a little strange and over the top, but as anyone who has ever been stuck behind a person staring at their cellphone screen, or has had a complete strange walk into them as a result of texting and not looking, can testify, this might not  be such a bad idea at all.  (more…)

Students develop nail polish that detects date rape drugs

Published by on Aug 29th, 2014, 4 Comments

Undercover Color

Date rape – it’s an awful subject to think about and even more awful to imagine happening to you, your friends or family. But the reality is, date rape is rife and the truth is women (even men) need to be vigilant at all times.

In aid of the fight against rape and date rape in particular, a group of undergraduates from the North Carolina State University have developed a product that can give women the opportunity to protect themselves.

According to various surveys, one in every five average college women have experienced date rape or a date rape situation. This group – that consist entirely of men, by the way – is trying to help this terrible statistic.

The group developed a nail polish that can detect whether their is a date rape drug in your drink. To test if your drink has been drugged, you simply need to dip your polished finger into your drink, and if it changes colour, you know that your drink has been spiked.

The nail polish can detect any common date rape drug such as Rohypnol (roofies), Xanax and GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid).

The nail polish forms part of the students’ company, or initiative, called ‘Undercover Colors’. The men who developed the nail polish said that they were inspired to create a protective tool for women, after hearing horrifying stories from their female friends who have had date rape experiences. (more…)

Mom develops app so son can’t ignore her text messages

Published by on Aug 21st, 2014, 3 Comments

Ignore No More

Teenagers; they are constantly in their own world and are only interested in texting their friends – definitely not their parents.

And for one Texas mom this was not going to fly. She got so fed up with her teenage son not replying to her text messages or phone calls, that she decided to fight fire with fire – by developing an app that would force him to reply.

Ignore No More is an app that allows parents to block their kids’ phones remotely, even when they are not in the house.

The app essentially disables the child’s phone – that is until he or she decides to reply to mom or dad. It blocks them from texting or calling anyone else (or even use the internet) except contacts listed on an emergency number list or emergency responders like the police or paramedics.

To unblock their phone, they will be forced to call their parents to receive a passcode to disable the block.  (more…)

More tech giants accept ice bucket challenge

Published by on Aug 18th, 2014, No Comments

Gates Ice Bucket

Last week we reported on Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella and Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg who stepped up the ‘ice bucket challenge’ in support of ALS disease.

Both Nadella and Zuckerberg doused themselves with ice water in order to raise awareness and money for the destructive neurodegenerative disease.

As you probably know by now, the challenge works like any other social media challenge; once you have performed the challenge, you get to nominate other people to do the same within 24-hours.

Nadella nominated Google CEO Larry Page and Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, who accepted the challenge and posted his video on YouTube.

Bezos proceeded to douse himself with a bucket of ice water on stage during a company, ‘all-hands’ meeting. He did think ahead though, as he stood in a ridiculous looking inflatable kiddies pool while dousing himself.

His nominations seemed to have a theme – Star Trek. Bezos nominated Patrick Stewart, William Shatner and  George Takei.  (more…)

Zuckerberg, Nadella do ‘ice bucket challenge’ for charity

Published by on Aug 14th, 2014, No Comments

ice bucket challenge

If you have been paying any attention to you social media timelines lately, you may have noticed a new fad going around called the ‘ice bucket challenge’

Much like any other social media challenge (remember those idiotic neknominations…) it requires a person to perform – a usually ridiculous – task and then nominate or challenge other friends to do the same.

The ‘ice bucket challenge’, however, seems to support a good cause. Rather than simply dumping a bucket of ice water on your head for no apparent reason, the aim of the challenge is to raise awareness and money for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease much like Motor Neuron disease.

Surprisingly enough, some high profile tech giants have also somehow caught wind of the challenge and has started challenging each other to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and then donating money towards the fight against ALS. (more…)

BuzzFeed receives a further $50 million investment

Published by on Aug 11th, 2014, No Comments

Buzzfeed

Viral media company, BuzzFeed, has just secured themselves their fifth round of funding, to the tune of a whopping $50 million.

The news media website, that was founded in 2006, has grown to be one of the world’s leading news and entertainment websites – steadily covering more news worthy subjects than simply posting cat videos and pop culture memes.

Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, is the latest investor to jump aboard the BuzzFeed train. Co-founder, Marc Andreessen, announced the investment on Twitter this morning.

Starting off by saying that he was ‘tickled pink’ to announce the investment in BuzzFeed, he then continued saying that him and his company would like to help BuzzFeed “realize it’s dreams of a profoundly important new media institution.”

But just what is BuzzFeed going to do with their $50 million investment? Well, according to a New York Times interview with BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief, Ben Smith, the main goal looks to be expansion.

The company plans on opening more offices outside of the US. They are currently looking at expanding to Japan, India, Germany and Mexico.

Along with opening new offices around the globe, Smith also said that this new investment will be used to fund an in-house tech incubator, create new categories on the BuzzFeed website and also help fund acquisitions.

The company is also planning to launch something called BuzzFeed Distributed. This division will mainly focus on creating content for other platforms including Tumblr and Instagram – rather than just the BuzzFeed site. (more…)

Is Twitter delving into e-commerce?

Published by on Aug 7th, 2014, No Comments

Twitter e-commerce

By the looks of things, Twitter may be going beyond simply being a social network. Recent moves by the company strongly indicates that they are looking to add an e-commerce option to their line-up.

This past week, a couple of Twitter users reported seeing a new option in their Twitter settings menu. The ‘payments and shipping’ option appeared on the settings menu in Twitter’s Android app.

While the option was there, it was not yet functional. Users reported that they could not open or activate the function, but it didn’t seem to disappear either.

Could this be a foreshadowing of what Twitter is planning? Probably. Twitter regularly test new  features and functions on a select few users before a full scale roll out.

And this latest report isn’t the first indication that Twitter is seriously considering a move into e-commerce.  (more…)

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