Author Archives: Nate Swanner


Facebook Groups testing ‘Sell Something’ button

Facebook Groups testing ‘Sell Something’ button

Facebook Groups is a strange (but cool) little app. You can exist within your own group, or join a new one blindly based on a common interest.. A new feature might hint at why Facebook created Groups, though, or at least something they had in mind when launching it. A “Sell Something” button has popped up next to the “Write Post” button for some users, which brings up a very Craigslist-like posting window. Users can add a picture of the item they’re trying to unload, along with pickup or delivery options.

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Cuba about to go online as Diplomacy wins out

Cuba about to go online as Diplomacy wins out

Before you get too tucked into this article, or any news regarding the United States’ new diplomatic views on Cuba, just know this: as it stands, a Cuban resident can’t read any of it. Say what you like about the content or context of any article on any site you read, but the people of Cuba by and large aren’t going to read it. They can’t. That’s likely to change over time, as the free-flow of information is coming their way.

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Dish brings Netflix to their Hopper DVR

Dish brings Netflix to their Hopper DVR

Dish subscribers can now watch Netflix, all without having to bring in a second box. Both companies announced today that Netflix will make a home on Dish’s second-generation Hopper DVR, leading Dish to claim they’re the first major US pay-TV provider to offer Netflix. Dish also says the Netflix interface you might enjoy elsewhere will continue on inside Hopper, making a cross-platform existence a bit more palatable. Dish also says they will be rolling Netflix out to their other hardware in the coming months.

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Vessel arrives to poach YouTube stars for subscription service

Vessel arrives to poach YouTube stars for subscription service

You probably haven’t heard of Vessel, but soon it will likely become part of your daily vernacular. The startup video service is trying to bring some of the more prominent YouTube creators under their banner, which offers up both free and paid subscriptions. The free service offers up videos from entities like Funny Or Die, while the paid model brings in homegrown viral stars. The paid service also delivers videos a full week before you’ll see them anywhere else, with an attractive, incentivized model for viral video stars.

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Blackberry Classic returns, brings old-school charm

Blackberry Classic returns, brings old-school charm

Blackberry is back. Today, the company officially unveils their Classic, an icon in the smartphone world born anew. The updated device takes modern specs and wraps them up in a nice, familiar package geared toward enterprise, though we’re sure some enterprising hipsters will snap them up as well. In keeping things business-like, Blackberry is launching their new (?) device with a bundle of enterprise-focussed apps. There are also two enterprise bundles aimed at letting pros work on the go, but securely access their files via VPN.

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Uber says they’ll invest in better background checks

Uber says they’ll invest in better background checks

Fun fact: Uber drivers don’t pass a rigorous background check before picking you up and (hopefully) dropping you off at your desired location. Seems a bit off that Uber doesn’t thoroughly vet their drivers, right? The company is pretty fastidious about what car you have and your driving record, but as for what crimes you might have been convicted of in the past — they’re not so worried. In China, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said his company would start checking the background of those working for his service in an attempt to better protect passengers.

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Netflix offline ‘never going to happen’ says exec

Netflix offline ‘never going to happen’ says exec

Netflix is available on just about every device you might have, but it’s not available anywhere you go. The streaming service still needs a solid signal, and if you’re trying to stream over cellular, that’s sometimes an issue. Offline playback seems a solid workaround to such connectivity woes, but that’s not really Netflix’s problem, is it? Netflix Director of Corporate Communications and Technology, Cliff Edwards, said offline playback is “never going to happen”, and that providing the feature is a “short term fix for a bigger problem”.

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Huawei’s Honor 6 photo samples are stunning

Huawei’s Honor 6 photo samples are stunning

Huawei’s Honor 6 is now available in China, and aside from its very decent spec sheet, there’s one interesting little wrinkle to the Honor 6 we couldn’t quite wrap our heads around. In discussing the device yesterday, it seemed there was a dual-camera setup around back. A duo of 8-megapixel cameras was said to offer variable aperture for photos. That’s a big proclamation, and something we’ve seen with some degree of success before from HTC, but is it the real deal? Newly release camera samples indicate it is.

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Sony announces their anti-Google Glass wearable

Sony announces their anti-Google Glass wearable

Sony is pretty bullish about putting a display in front of your eyes. Phones and smartwatches are already pretty well-heeled in their lineup, but incoming projects like Morpheus take you into the world of virtual reality. Now, Sony is introducing “an attachable Single-Lens Display Module”, which amounts to Google Glass you can remove. It’s also quite a bit bulkier than Glass, but offers just about the same functionality. Sony’s aim is true, though; rather than a daily wear consumer product, this is (currently) geared toward sports.

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Pebble now lets you interact via Android Wear notifications

Pebble now lets you interact via Android Wear notifications

With some slight variation, most smartwatches are essentially the same. The face shape and specs may change, but the overall interaction is equal, with notifications being the main reason people like them. One of the first smartwatches around, Pebble, has done a remarkable job staying relevant in the face of flashier options from Motorola, LG, and Apple. Now, your e-paper screen is getting a taste of Android Wear itself, with Pebble gaining the ability to show you Android Wear notifications.

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