Flywheel Gets $12 Million In Series C Funding, Slams Uber And Finds A New CEO
Rakesh is a co-founder of Webaroo. He has been a founder of three technology start up companies in the past 10 years and also an early stage investor in several other companies. He was a founder and CEO of Junglee, whose virtual database technology led to the creation of comparison shopping on the Internet. Junglee was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998. He founded Armedia, which was one of the first companies …
The Weird Science of First Impressions
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past five years of working as a journalist it’s that success can come down to the two seconds after you first meet someone.
Google Looks to Get Back Into China
Google Inc. is considering bringing a version of its Play mobile-app store to China, a tentative but important step back into a country that Google mostly exited in 2010.
TGI Friday's mistletoe drones want you to pucker up - CNET
The mistletoe drones are a first for the United Kingdom, according to the restaurant. They are part of TGI Friday's "Togethermas" marketing campaign which was inspired by a "nationwide, company-conducted survey that found only 53 percent of people in the UK had actually ever kissed under the mistletoe at Christmastime," according to CBCNews .
Aereo throws in the towel, but may have already changed TV forever
That language could end up meaning that Aereo will have a major impact on the television industry long after its shutdown. The Federal Communications Commission recently circulated a proposal that could open the door for companies like Aereo to become MVPDs — multi-channel video providers — the same designation given to cable and satellite TV companies.
Swedish Court Rejects Julian Assange's Appeal to Dismiss His Arrest Warrant | WIRED
Assange, in his appeal to rescind the warrant , argued that although he had made himself available for questioning in the UK, the Swedish prosecutor has refused to accommodate that offer. This shows, Assange’s attorneys argue, that the investigation “has not been conducted with the effectiveness and urgency which can be demanded,” and that what can be won by maintaining the detention order is not in proportion to the harm and damage the decision causes. that has deprived Assange of his liberty for more than two years.
The Company Trying To Kill Microsoft PowerPoint Just Raised $57 Million
It plans to use the latest round to push on with its global expansion plans and lists Australia as one of its fastest growing markets.
Comcast Technician Tracker: Finally You Don't Need to Wait Around All Day
Comcast is launching a new technician tracker through its MyAccount app, which lets you keep an eye on where the Comcast technician that's supposed to be at your house actually is. Waiting around for the cable guy to show up is a total pain in the butt and a huge waste of time. I never thought I'd say this, but thank you Comcast.
Basis Peak Now Shares Heart Rate Data With Third-Party Apps
To that end, the company announced today that the health tracker will now share heart rate data with third-party fitness iOS apps like Strava, RunKeeper and Endomondo. Unlike other health trackers or smartwatches, the Peak constantly monitors your heart rate without the wearer having to enable the feature.
Apple Obsesses over Watch App Details | MIT Technology Review
Apple also wants to make sure that developers pay attention to how their apps work with corresponding iPhone apps—like most other smart watches, the Apple Watch requires a smartphone to function, in this case an iPhone. In the guidelines, the company stresses that any app on the wrist “complements your iOS app; it does not replace it.” This could encourage developers to think about how they can bring functions to Apple Watch apps that might be more appropriate on the wrist than on the smartphone screen, such as certain kinds of context-aware alerts.
PSN Store Update: Stop He's Already Dead Edition
That scene in The Simpsons ? November's new release pile-up is like that, except the games industry isn't about to let up. A glance here should tell you there's still an absolute drove of games waiting to beat us all up before the year ticks over. Brace yourselves, people.
This is a particularly games-stuffed edition of our weekly PSN Store updates; there are 13 games out on PS4 alone, including the small matters of Far Cry 4 , Dragon Age: Inquisition, Grand Theft Auto 5 and LittleBigPlanet 3 . Since it's so games-stuffed, we're going to take a leaf out of our eShop round-ups and condense all of this week's new releases into a nice, digestible list. You'll find that below the break, complete with links for further coverage as well as SEN store links.
Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS4/Xbox One Screens)
Dragon Age: Inquisition (EA) - Standard $60 / Deluxe Edition $70
Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft) - Standard $60 / Gold Edition $90
Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar Games) - $60
LittleBigPlanet 3 (Sony) - $60
Never Alone (E-Line Media) - $15 / $13.49 Plus
WWE 2K15 (2K) - Standard $60 / Digital Deluxe $80
Monopoly Family Fun Pack (Ubisoft) - $30
MXGP - The Official Motocross Videogame (Bandai Namco) - $60
Rollers of the Realm (Atlus) - $9
Samurai Warriors 4 (Koei Tecmo) - $60
The Jackbox Party Pack (Jackbox Games) - $25
Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops (Wired Productions, cross-buy PS3 & Vita) - $8 / $6.
Singapore Will Introduce New Regulations For Taxi Booking Apps In 2015
Hailo is the Taxi Magnet - a free smartphone app which puts people two taps away from a licensed taxi, and lets cabbies get more passengers when they want them.
A Hailo hail is accepted around the world every four seconds from Hailo’s global network of tens of thousands of drivers and hundreds of thousands of passengers. Hailo is available in New York, London, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Toronto, …
Obama's immigration plan comes up short for Silicon Valley
President Barack Obama last night announced sweeping plans to overhaul the nation's immigration system, including provisions that would make it easier for foreign-born entrepreneurs and engineers to stay in the US. The initiative, implemented under the president's executive authority, promises to stop deportation and provide work permits for nearly five million undocumented immigrants. It also includes minor tweaks to streamline the green card process for visa holders, but Silicon Valley executives have expressed dismay that the plan doesn't do more to keep skilled foreign workers in the US.
Absurd Creature of the Week: The Adorably Creepy Gliding Mammal That's Basically Just a Big Flap of Skin | WIRED
Really, the problem had more to do with mammals like us not being cut out for flight. Well, except for bats. There are, though, critters like sugar gliders and flying squirrels, which can pull off some pretty solid glides. But compared to the adorable and little-known colugo, they got nothin’. This is the most accomplished mammalian glider of all—on account of being essentially a giant flap of skin—capable of soaring an incredible 200 feet from tree to tree. Its expansive membrane, known as a patagium, stretches from its face to the tips of its digits all the way back to its tail, so “geometrically, it has the greatest surface area that you can have between those limbs without actually evolving an entire wing like bats did,” said conservation biologist Jan Janecka of Duquesne University.
YouTube Music Key is now available for Google Play All Access subscribers - The Next Web
YouTube’s new Music Key subscription service was set to roll out this week, and it looks like it’s now available for most users on mobile and the Web. We spotted this on YouTube:
Review: New Smash Bros. is the best reason yet to buy a Wii U
The last major new game modes to talk about are "Master Orders" and "Crazy Orders," named for the Master Hand and Crazy Hand boss characters that served as the "kid playing with his toys" framing device since the N64 days. In Master Orders mode, you pick a fighter and buy a single "ticket" with some in-game currency. Each ticket sets rules for the ensuing battle and gives you a hint about what kind of reward you'll get for it. In Crazy Orders mode, you either hand in a large amount of in-game currency or a (relatively rare) pass to play, and you can do as many challenges as you want until you lose. You'll eventually need to cash out by beating the Crazy Hand boss, though—get knocked out before you do that, and you'll lose some of the prizes you've won.
The company also said it is planning to launch the same apps for Android phones as well as Android tablets. The latter group is already in preview and is expected to launch “in early 2015,” while the former is coming “at some point later,” which is when Office Mobile for Android phones will be killed off.
This Lingerie Company A/B Tests The World's Hottest Women To See Who Makes You Click "Buy"
A/B testing takes more resources because it requires at least two of everything. At the all-day event, Adore Me photographs between 30 and 40 new looks that will debut on the site the next month. For every bra and underwear set, the company has to ensure it has enough options to test for each garment. Each month, the retailer also reshoots a handful of garments that didn't sell well on the site. Today, Adore Me is testing a new blonde model. While natural blondes make up about 16% of the U.S. population, and gentlemen have been said to prefer them, nobody wants to buy lingerie from them. So far, no one with golden locks has sold well, Hermand-Waiche says.
The Pitch Perfect 2 trailer is here
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AT&TVoice: 6 Tips To Build A Mobile Commerce Site
We know you need more than just cold information, technical solutions and the latest devices. You need a place where you can talk to business owners just like you – who might’ve tried something you haven’t or found a tech solution you didn’t know was out there. It’s all about finding the freedom to do what you love. AT&T is here to help you make connections and find answers that help you build your business. And we need your help, so we invite you to share your stories, too.
Experts: Hackers Could Take Control Of Driverless Cars
Driverless cars will need to be protected from hackers who could take control of vehicles to cause chaos on the roads, cyber security and transport experts have warned.
Craft the latte foam kitty of your dreams with this insane 'gun'
If you love lattes but wish the foam could somehow be more adorable, good news! You'll soon be able to sculpt the most cloyingly cute animals you want using the Awa Taccino , a gun that fires measured dollops of foamed low-fat or soy milk. You just need to add the milk, whip it up for a minute with the supplied battery powered blender, sculpt it into shape and add chocolate features (as shown in the amazingly Japanese video below). You'll notice I said "sculpt": it does seem to require a modicum of skill, so for $60 you may end up with "formless blob" lattes instead of kitteh or panda lattes. It'll arrive at the Japan Trend Shop next month.
GoDaddy aims to list next year, seeks $4.5 billion valuation: NY Post
(Reuters) - GoDaddy Inc is planning an initial public offering early next year that would value the world's biggest provider of web addresses at roughly $4.5 billion, the New York Post said.
Hunting a Bengal Tiger in Far Cry 4 - IGN Plays - IGN Video
Tim and Alfredo hunt and kill a Bengal tiger in Far Cry 4.
Targeted Ads? TV Can Do That Now Too
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Apple's Newest Designer Reimagines the Shotgun | WIRED
The “Action” is the metal hub where the trigger, reloading mechanism, and safety come together and serves as a showcase for Newson’s design expertise. Trigger guards are often screwed-on pieces of sheet material, but Newson opted to mill his so that it becomes part and parcel of the gun’s receiver. Cleverly, the 486’s safety switch stands alone on the stock with a “wood bridge” hiding its connection to the receiver—and thereby calling special attention to its lifesaving functionality. Similarly, the lever that unlocks the barrels for reloading was left uncluttered by decorative swirls to better reveal its critical role.
Walmart's Cyber Monday deals include a $998 4K Samsung TV, PlayStation 4 bundles, more
Walmart has already announced its Black Friday deals , but now it's following them up with more blowouts for Cyber Monday. As expected, the best deals can be found on TVs, though Walmart says it has over 500 deals for the week starting on Saturday, November 29th — more than twice as many as last year. The best deals will hit on December 1st, however, so be careful when shopping at work so your boss doesn't notice. (Some links will not be live until the deal is available, so be sure to check back at Walmart's site if you can't find what you're looking for right now.)
Interstellar Was So Big It Almost Broke IMAX | WIRED
When it comes to Interstellar , the spaceship Endurance isn't the only thing going where no one has gone before—so is the movie itself. At 2 hours, 47 minutes, and 7 seconds, Interstellar is the longest Imax presentation ever. To screen it, all that film is wound up and placed on a 72-inch-diameter platter; fully loaded it weighs 600 pounds and takes a forklift to move. Director Christopher Nolan thinks it’s worth it: 70-mm Imax film means higher resolution and crisper, clearer colors. But for years the limit on Imax running time was 2 hours, 30 minutes. “The diameter of the Imax platter dictates how long films can be,” says David Keighley, chief quality officer at Imax. Then in 2009, when director James Cameron was producing a special-edition release of Avatar , he demanded more. So the company’s engineers moved the clamp system that keeps the film on the platter from the top to the bottom, allowing more film to wrap around the outermost edge without flying off. The result? Cameron’s cut came in at 2 hours, 46 minutes, and 54 seconds. Now Interstellar is topping that record by 13 seconds, including more than an hour of ultrasharp space footage shot with Imax cameras.
Apple $450 million e-book settlement gets final court approval
Apple agreed to the settlement in June, ahead of a damages trial set for two months later in which attorneys general in 33 states and territories and lawyers for a class of consumers were expected to seek up to $840 million.
Persona Q review: When worlds collide
When I began playing Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth , I expected it to be a time-biding knockoff of the Persona franchise, meant to placate rabid fans until Persona 5 finally emerges and provides fresh meaning in our lives. (We Persona fans are a little intense, ok?) I admired the super-cute art style and was naturally pleased to see the familiar characters, but a crossover with Atlus' other long-running RPG series, Etrian Odyssey, didn't seem like a good fit, except perhaps as a marketing ploy.
I was completely, totally, utterly wrong. Persona Q is a brilliant game in its own right, more than able to take its place in the Persona lineage, taking the best elements of each franchise and combining them into an addictive, hour-devouring experience. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (11/20/14)
When you begin, you're asked to choose between the cast of Persona 3 or Persona 4 , though it's a fairly superficial selection, as you'll meet the other team eventually, as well as a new duo, Zen and Rei. You're all trapped in an alternate version of your high school and won't be able to escape until you clear the various dungeons that seem to be keeping the doors to the real world locked.
Taxi-Hailing App Flywheel Expands to Help Cabbies Fight Big Bad Uber | WIRED
Flywheel was founded in 2009 as a backend management system for taxi companies. In 2013, the company pivoted to become a ride hailing app, but it kept its commitment to these companies. Now, instead of working with independent contractors like Uber and Lyft do, Flywheel acts as a consumer app that aggregates existing taxi fleets. That means it will never institute surge pricing, a policy Uber created to convince more drivers to get on the road at peak times, because taxi drivers work on shifts and don’t have to be convinced. “That problem doesn’t exist,” Mathur says.
The Tricky Ethics of Intergalactic Colonization | WIRED
Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng set out from China on massive naval expeditions that reached as far as Mecca and Mombasa, journeys with more than 300 vessels and 28,000 crew, excursions far bigger and longer than those of Columbus more than a half century later. Staggering in price, formidable in technical sophistication, unprecedented in level of national commitment—Zheng’s voyages remain the closest functional equivalent to the cost, effort, and risk required to travel into deep space. Trying to picture what settling other planets might entail? One place to look is 15th-century China.
Black Friday 2014: The best Pre-Black Friday items available at Walmart and Best Buy
Black Friday is one week away, but retailers already are gearing up for the big holiday shopping season with pre-Black Friday sales that kick off a week in advance. Both Best Buy and Walmart are jumping on the early sales bandwagon with a handful of discounts on iPads, iPods and more.
NSA chief warns Chinese cyber attacks could shut U.S. infrastructure
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China and "probably one or two" other countries have the ability to invade and possibly shut down computer systems of U.S. power utilities, aviation networks and financial companies, Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency, said on Thursday.
EA CFO: Microsoft is catching up to Sony
Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen believes Microsoft is "catching up" to Sony in the current-gen console battle. Jorgensen said during a talk at the UBS Global Technology Conference in Sausalito, California yesterday that "Sony has jumped out to a lead with a great console and I think a great pricing strategy" with the PS4.
Shipments for Sony's latest home console reached 13.5 million consoles as of late October, whereas Microsoft reported that shipments of Xbox One consoles hit 10 million globally last week. Jorgensen saw the Xbox One's $50 price cut for the holidays as a tactic by Microsoft that "will continue to pull the consumer into the new consoles." The EA executive estimated that combined sales for the two systems will top 25 million consoles following the holidays.
How Bad Was Uber CEO's Apology? We Put His Words To The Test.
Uber's CEO used Twitter to apologize. We test how his words sound in real life.
'Better Call Saul' gets February premiere date and a new teaser
The loveably sleazy Saul Goodman is almost back on the air. AMC has announced that Better Call Saul will premiere across two nights, Sunday, February 8th and Monday, February 9th at 10PM ET/PT. From there, AMC will continue to air one episode every Monday at 10. Alongside Bob Odenkirk, who's returning as Saul, Jonathan Banks will be returning as his right-hand man, of sorts, Mike Ehrmantraut. The series takes place six years before the events of Breaking Bad and will show Saul's rise from a small-time lawyer to the successful and totally unethical one that we all already know. That's about all of the details on the series' plot so far, and its latest teaser doesn't reveal much more — though it sure makes it look like the show could have a similar tone to Breaking Bad .
BMW i3 first electric to win Green Car of the Year - CNET
Green Car Journal chose the BMW i3 for its Green Car of the Year award, announced at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show, beating out such cars as the Volkswagen Golf, Honda Fit, and Audi A3 TDI.
Bing's homepage gets HD featured images and easy access to Office apps - The Next Web
Bing takes a very different approach to its search page than Google, featuring a daily photo with scenic settings or cute animals. Today, Bing is making its homepage a little nicer by incorporating larger images for those with higher resolution displays.
5-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Person Ever Qualified to Install Microsoft Windows | WIRED
Ayan, who turned six shortly after his September 24 exam, started getting into computers about three years ago. “He used to sit next to me and watch me very carefully,” says his dad, Asim Qureshi, who also works in IT. So Asim started explaining the basics to his son: how to turn a computer on, how to power down, how to access the control panel. Before he knew it, Asim had built his son a mini computer-lab in his home office, and Ayan was spending one-to-two hours per day playing around with the operating system.
23 Gorgeous Products That'll Turn Your Bedroom Into an Oasis of Calm | WIRED
It’s been a long day—the last thing you need is to retire to a messy, stress-inducing bedroom. Your sleeping quarters should be an oasis of calm. It should be the one place you can forget about workplace woes, turn off your brain and relax. For our Design|Life issue, we gathered 24 products that will make the send off to slumberland your favorite time of the day.
Would Air Travel Be Safer Without Pilots? Steve Jurvetson Thinks So
Steve Jurvetson likes big ideas. The venture capital investor placed early, bold bets on electric cars (Tesla Motors) and space exploration (SpaceX). He speaks publicly every chance he gets on how the world will be transformed sooner than we think by advances like robotics and driverless vehicles.
GTA 5 PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Review - IGN
The big new feature for the new-generation consoles is the optional first-person mode. It’s a whole new way of experiencing Grand Theft Auto like we never have before. Rockstar has gone out of its way to make sure everything looks great when viewing it through your characters’ eyes instead of over their shoulders, and the controls work pretty much the way you expect them to in a first-person shooter. An impressive amount of control configuration options let you tailor it to your liking, and you can even set it to automatically switch from first to third person when you enter cover or get into a car. The different perspective made things feel more like they were happening to me, rather than a character I was controlling, which makes GTA a surprisingly different experience. Driving or flying is, of course, a lot tougher with the more limited view, but still lots of fun, and the ability to switch at will makes it a luxury.
YouTube Music Awards to Return in 2015, But Not as a Live Event
The Internet-video giant is reprising the YouTube Music Awards following the launch this month of YouTube Music Key , an advertising-free subscription service that offers offline video viewing and other features, with access to more than 30 million songs via Google Play Music. It’s currently in an invitation-only beta phase, with select users able to try it out for six months free, after which YouTube will open it up at a promo price of $7.99 per month.
CIOs make progress, but still get no respect | ZDNet
This is because most CIOs lack imagination. They are too much about the .doc and .xls and not about looking at opportunities to help business work more effectively. They don't look into the future or act strategically or even bring ideas on emerging IT trends that could provide the business with a market advantage. Its all about the old 90s Microsoft mindset. Never adopt anything thats a Version 1 of a Microsoft product always wait until the first service pack to deploy.... They have made this their mantra across the board and rightly the business sees this very conservative outlook as not providing any leverage or assistance in the market. You just need to see how many CIOs lack foresight and will. Look how long it is taking to get rid of XP.... and what do they jump to ? - Windows 7....With no new thinking, nothing exciting or valuable is going to happen in the CIO space, because Microsoft is an acceptable cost of doing business and we don't care how much that costs the business. Its all about the desktops. Bring back the 90s !
The New Habit Challenge: How Can Setting Time Limits For Work Make Us More Productive?
Join our resident habit expert Rachel Gillett and other Fast Company editors on Friday, November 21 at 11 a.m. EST as we discuss what happened when we set some boundaries.
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' is opening unopposed this weekend
There's a simple way for a movie studio to win a box-office battle: Make sure the competition is weak. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is expected to garner somewhere around $150 million in movie ticket sales this weekend — far more than any other film this year —largely because no one in Hollywood was brave enough to take it on.
Game Scoop! 323: Far Cry 3, Part 2 - IGN Video
This week we're having too much fun with Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5, and Dragon Age Inquisition.