Thursday, June 23, 2016

TechTalk June 21, 2016

Every week we sit down and take a deep dive into the tech issues that we are reading about. Jatin Mava joins me from to get to the bottom of things.

The Podcast Link.

The Show Notes.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones 1759dhs
-comfort with a capital C!

Twitter buying to make money!
So buying Magic Pony Technology makes sense. The London company is a developer of machine learning and visual processing technology, essentially trying to adapt images to how the human brain works” something it calls ‘using neural networks’.
This means images adapting for various uses, be that VR, AR, video or simple user enhancement. TechCrunch claims the deal is costing Twitter around $150m for the deal.
“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder.
“Magic Pony’s machine learning technology will help us build strength into our deep learning teams with world-class talent.”
For the money it’s ploughing into the purchase, Twitter will inherit a team including 11 PhDs and experience in some major tech labs, with expertise across computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing, and computational neuroscience.

Twitter and Emoji based targeting
Advertisers will either cry with laughter or happiness following Twitter's announcement of emoji based-targeting.
The company's move is in time for next month's World Emoji Day, which is July 17, apparently.
Advertisers can make the most of the cartoonish icons by targeting consumers who have tweeted or engaged with tweets that feature emoji. That means someone in Chicago who tweets a pizza emoji can now be targeted by a local restaurant to come in for a delicious slice of deep dish.
More than 110 billion emojis have been tweeted since 2014, according to Twitter, which says they can signal a person's mood or mindset, "unlocking unique opportunities for marketers and brands."

Spotify has a huge audience and 30% pay!

Cool App for late people

New shopping platform!

19 June 2019. The recently launched online shopping platform

is the first online shopping website in the region with the primary aim of enabling Arab women to develop

themselves professionally and become financially self-reliant. The website provides talented women

entrepreneurs with a platform to market and distribute their products. At the same time, it offers

shoppers access to global brands that have no distribution channels in the Middle East. The platform,

which currently caters to the UAE and Kuwait, offers women shoppers the chance to shop global and local

on one platform, a platform that further provides a holistic experience built on dialogue. aims

to help women succeed in their goals, firstly by providing entrepreneurs with a platform to sell their

products and thus expand their potential, and secondly, by helping women shoppers feel and look better

and have constructive dialogue with one another, and thus succeed in their professional and personal was built with one fact in mind: Arab women today are busier than ever, and are caught up in

the quick pace of modern life as they strive in all avenues of work. is a platform that aims to

make Arab women’s lives easier by saving them time and effort. is a safe, trustworthy, and easy-to- use platform that provides its users with two types of

products. It offers high-quality products from global brands with no presence in the region, thoughtfully

selected with an eye to providing for Arab women’s needs and desires. It also offers unique products made

by talented women entrepreneurs in the Arab region.
Hashtags on facebook lead to less interaction!


Hyperkin toyed with gamers last year when it teased a peripheral that would play real Game Boy cartridges on your phone, but it wasn't just kidding around -- it's making good on its word. The company is now taking pre-orders for a Smart Boy Development Kit that lets your Android smartphone play Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges. The $60 peripheral isn't meant for everyday use -- Hyperkin is hoping you'll improve the open source code yourself. Nonetheless, it's likely the closest you'll get to reviving your childhood short of dragging the original hardware out of storage. Just be ready to wait until December 1st to get yours... and while Hyperkin originally talked about an iPhone version, Apple handset users are out of luck so far.

Bluetooth 5.o is coming!

Bluetooth is an all-but-required technology for any modern smart device. It enables you to do things like collect low-powered IoT devices to smartphones, tablets, and even desktop systems. However, even a more modern Bluetooth v4.2 connection has limitations on both range and bandwidth making it a less appealing technology for IoT devices that need both range and the capability of sending and receiving large amounts of data.
That is, until now. Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced the first major update to the Bluetooth standard since 2009, and this update promises double the speed and quadruple the range with the same low power consumption that engineers have come to rely on for modern, low-powered IoT applications.
“Bluetooth 5 will transform the way people experience the IoT by making it something that happens simply and seamlessly around them,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home, while increasing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices. And now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of information, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience”

Sunglasses that are headphones!

Bone-conduction headphones essentially work by vibrating sound through your skull and into your inner ear. It's like something out of a sci-fi movie if you've never tried them before.
While not new technology at all (Aftershokz makes many popular bone-conduction headphones), a company called Zungle has finally combined the vibrating audio tech together with a pair of sunglasses.
The Panther shades, which will cost $150 ($99 if you get the early bird special), let you "wear the beats."
When the bone-conduction speakers make contact with a surface, they vibrate to enhance the sound. You can see how it works in one of Zungle's demo videos below:
They're not for everyone. Bone-conduction headphones are useful, especially for fitness buffs, because they don't cover your ears like regular headphones. For example, if you're out running, bone-conduction headphones will still allow you to hear all of the ambient sound around you like traffic.
The downside, of course, is people around you will also be able to hear your music if they're close enough. Be prepared to be judged on your running playlist — that's all I'm saying.
The headphones connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and music playback is controlled with the jog dial on the right ear.
There's also a built-in microphone for answering phone calls. The company says the 300 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery is good for up to 4 hours of music playback. The headphones are charged by popping off one of the ears to reveal a microUSB port.
Cool as the bone-conducting shades are, the Panther also comes with another sweet feature: swappable lenses. The frame itself will be available in five colors, but you can replace the lenses with seven different UV400 lenses; these are the same size and fit asOakley's Frogskin lenses.
With over $139,000 raised as of this writing from over 1,220 backers, the Panther sunglasses have already crushed their $50,000 goal. The campaign ends in 26 days with first deliveries expect to arrive by this November (assuming there are no delays).
Bone-conduction headphones have always been on the dorky side, but by integrating them with a pair of sunglasses, Zungle could actually make them hip.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Pay what you want game designer bundle!
A game design career may be your dream job, but it doesn’t mean you get to sit around blasting zombies all day. It means you’re tasked with not just dreaming up, but also bringing to life all those game characters and worlds. And that’s easier said than done.
Luckily, you’ll learn the essentials for doing so with the Game Design Course bundle - which you can pick up right now for any price you want to pay in the Boing Boing Store.
Pay any amount, and you’ll receive access to two courses to get started:
  • Engage Your Customers w/ Gamification Course
  • Learn To Craft "Hand-Painted" Textures Course
But nobody should move down a new career path and stop if you pay anything over the average price paid, you’ll get two additional courses to round out your game design education:
  • Make Real Games: Become a Unity 3D Power User Course
  • Professional Video Game Art School Course
A nearly $800 value, you can grab this course bundle for any price you want and finally embark on that long-sought game creation career.

What about what we share on twitter?
A new study has thrown doubt over the perception of social media as a viable news provider. The research, courtesy of Columbia University and the French National Institute, claims that six in 10 people who share news URLs on Twitter don’t actually bother with reading them.
The study looked at 2.8 million shares on Twitter, splitting the data into two categories: one that contained shortened URL links to five major news sources during the course of a month, and one that contained all the clicks attached to the first set. This, the researchers said, allowed them to create a map to show how a news item goes viral on Twitter.

These are cool gadgets!

Facebook launches CreativeHub to make better FB ads!

To help marketers keep ads coming, not to mention make the shift to mobile advertising, the company is now introducing Creative Hub, an online platform for agencies, brands and anyone involved in the creation of ads on Facebook, really, to share, review, test and create ads on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram. Facebook is billing it as an online space meant to foster collaboration.
The move is an effort to help creatives build ads more easily, said Mark D'Arcy, chief creative officer at Facebook's Creative Shop. "Before this, we didn't have a great interactive workspace," he said. "But building, experimenting and playing with form in mobile is really important. It's important for us as an industry to figure it out."
The Creative Hub will show the range of formats that creatives can choose from, along with ad specs, including ones on both Facebook and Instagram. It will also serve as a platform where creatives can scan case studies and best practices, look for tips on various targeting techniques, work simultaneously in real time on campaigns with colleagues and clients in other parts of the world, and get tips on design and how to grab attention in a news feed-based environment. Another feature will let people to create and test mock mobile ads.
Facebook will describe the platform, which is scheduled to go live on Tuesday, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Some cool things on Spotify!

VR tour of Wild Atlantic Way

Sound or Soundless social media ads is the question!

past year or so, Facebook has conditioned advertisers and publishers to create video that can be understood without sound, as more clips that play automatically (and silently) when users scroll fill news feeds.
With 100 million hours of video viewed every day and the explosion of autoplay and live video outside of Facebook, the push for muted clips has been widely pitched by social platforms and ad-tech companies alike. So, it is a bit surprising that Snapchat claimedearlier this month that two-thirds of its 10 billion daily video views are viewed with the sound on, the app's default setting.
Droga5, for one, says that up to 95 percent of its ads are viewed without audio, so like other agencies, it's experimenting with captions, voiceovers and plugging brands' messages into the first three seconds of clips. Still, change is always hard, particularly when it comes to changing the creative process behind long-form ads with big, overarching story arcs.
"We're seeing as little as 5 percent video views with sound, prompting some of our more social-leaning clients to mandate that we adopt the practice of producing videos without sound," said Brian Nguyen, group communications strategy director at Droga5. "However, there is still some resistance, especially when promoting longer-form content. Facebook is one of the few platforms outside of YouTube where we can promote long-form content with paid support and people will watch."
That approach is a complete departure from Snapchat, where "sound is a major consideration," according to Nguyen, since shorter ads rely equally on visuals and audio to hook viewers into watching full clips.
"It's also important to note that the nature of Snapchat, in terms of user-experience, plays into the prominence of sound on the platform," Nguyen noted. "Users on Snapchat simply expect sound whereas on Facebook they don't."
Specifically, audio cues and voiceovers are crucial on Snapchat, and the agency uses the app's vertical formats to create ads in which the talent looks straight at the viewer when speaking. "The words 'epic' and 'attention-grabbing' to describe the audio have been included on more than a few Snapchat creative briefs I've worked on," Nguyen said.
Plus, using Snapchat's plethora of colorful stickers, filters and other add-ons that are practically an inherient language for the the app's core group of teens and millennials helps.
"You want the video to feel native, so it's important to make creative use of text, drawing and sticker overlay functions—get to the point and don't bury the lead," said Jill Sherman, svp of social strategy at DigitasLBi.
On the other hand, Amy Peterman, vp of paid social strategy at 360i, said there hasn't been interest from advertisers to create audio-specific creative for Snapchat. Instead, the digital shop is noticing more subtitles and Facebook-like features coming to Snapchat.
Last week, Netflix ran a sponsored story to promote the new season of Orange Is the New Black with text that read, "Busted! Swipe up to see an exclusive clip from Season 4." Toggling a phone's speakers off prompted subtitles to pop up.

Youtube helping us make better ads!

Today, Google is launching three ways for SMBs to create video ads for YouTube that are—at least for the most part—free. With a new app called YouTube Director, the video juggernaut is helping businesses with little or no marketing budget create commercials on their own. The app includes a number of templates, music and editing tools and is free to use.
According to Diya Jolly, Google's director of product management, the biggest struggle smaller businesses face on YouTube is the lack of quality of their videos.
"The reason we did this is because we believe, obviously, that video is becoming a more and more important medium on the internet," Jolly said in an interview. "And today what we see is we have a lot of big brands being able to advertise on video because they have the resources for a video campaign, and while we have SMBs, we see that the quality of the video isn't as high."
One small business that has used the app is The Barber Shop Club in Los Angeles, which used it to shoot and edit a spot to coincide with an AdWords campaign. According to Google, the business saw a 73 percent increase in ad recall and a 56 percent lift in brand awareness.
Here's the video ad The Barber Shop Club's created with the video app:
Along with the app, YouTube is also introducing two services for those who don't want to mess with making their own video. Another service will take existing assets—such as a logo or app screen shots—to make a video.
YouTube is also working to connect businesses with nearby filmmakers to make extremely cheap spots. Through its YouTube Director onsite service, businesses in select cities that commit to spending $150 on YouTube advertising will be able to have a YouTube-vetted filmmaker visit their business to film a spot for them. Right now, only six U.S. cities are open to the service—Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco—but Jolly said more could be added later.

"It's a pretty smart move to make the content reactive to the user habits," said Peterman.
That doesn't mean brands should port their Facebook captions to Snapchat, though.
"In both cases, you typically need some level of subtitle that helps describe what is going on," said Kyle Bunch, managing director of social at R/GA. Pithy text tends to work better on the messaging app.
While a two-minute speech may require every word to be subtitled, one or two words may get the point across in a 10-second Snapchat video.
Still other agencies are sticking with soundless video across the board for every platform.
"Unless we felt that the content we're creating is so desirable that someone would save it to view later, we are currently directing toward audio-free," said Deutsch's vp and digital strategy director Rachel Mercer.
Or, as Bunch puts it, agencies still need to "design for the lowest common denominator." In other words, marketers can't assume that everyone watches video the same way.
"If people are listening to audio, great," he said. "But we don't want to take something like our advertiser or brand message and have it exclusively live in voiceover, even if the numbers are really good of people listening to ads on Snapchat—we know there is going to be a percentage of people who aren't, and we don't want something to get lost."

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