Ever felt that your Instagram photography is so good that you should start charging for it? Now’s your chance to prove your worth. Netflix is looking for three professional Instagram shooters (aka “Grammasters”) that will travel across the continental US snapping square photos of “iconic” movie and TV show locations to drum up attention for the streaming movie service. All you have to do to apply is share three of your best shots by October 7th. The gig only lasts for two weeks, so you won’t want to quit your day job — and it’s safe to say that you won’t have as much creative control as you’d probably like. However, you’ll be paid $2,000 a week with all travel expenses covered. That’s not too shabby for something you were already doing for free.
[Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images]
Hey, want to spice up your Monday evening? Check out our news highlights from the last 24 hours, including the GoPro Hero4, everything you need to know about the Bash shell flaw, and more. You know you want to.
China has a history of tightening its censorship of internet services during times of political upheaval, and that’s unfortunately happening again with massive pro-democracy protests underway in Hong Kong. Both monitoring sites and on-the-ground observers report that the country has blocked access to Instagram on the mainland, most likely to prevent images of the demonstrations from spreading beyond Hong Kong (where Instagram is still working). It’s potentially a big blow to free speech, as the photo sharing service was one of the few foreign social networks that operated unfettered in the area. We’ve reached out to Instagram for more details, but it’s safe to presume that China won’t lift its restrictions so long as the protests continue — and it won’t be surprising if this ultimately proves to be a permanent ban.
[Image credit: Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images]
Breaking: Instagram just got blocked in China, possibly due to the circulation of protests photos in Hong Kong.
– edde (@Edourdoo) September 28, 2014
Regular selfie vids just won’t cut it anymore. We live in the age of Hyperlapse after all, and now Instagram is offering the high-speed option for that front-facing cam. With a new update to its standalone iOS app, the filter-driven outfit allows you to employ its time-lapse tool to document those vacation selfie moments and more. All you have to do is tap the appropriate icon on the app’s home screen to toggle between cameras before capturing the footage and beaming it to Instagram, Facebook or your phone’s library. The new version is live in the iTunes App Store now, so have at it.
While Instagram has been monetising its app for nearly a year, UK users have enjoyed scrolling through their timelines completely free of ads. Until today, that is. The company has taken to the service to share the very first sponsored post with UK users (shown above), letting them know that “over the coming weeks” it will begin displaying paid content their streams, whether they like it or not. Users are invited to tap the “Sponsored” label to learn more about a specific campaign, but the majority are likely to become acquainted with “…” button, which quickly hides them from view. The dream might be over but Instagram says it’s starting out with only a “few” businesses, meaning you shouldn’t be bombarded with ads when they begin rolling out.
Via: The Next Web
Source: Charlotte Williams
Happy Saturday, and welcome to another edition of Feedback Loop! With all the talk of online data breaches this week, we’re discussing ways to better protect your data stored in the cloud. After you’re done auditing your passwords, let us know what you think of Samsung’s new curved Galaxy Note Edge and find out how much fitness trackers are helping your fellow readers. Make yourself comfy and join us after the break for some in-depth tech talk.
How are you keeping yourself safe online?
In light of the recent iCloud security issue, I’m curious to find out how you protect yourself online. Obviously, strong credentials are the way to go, but are you using password managers? Do you go the extra mile by also enabling two-factor authentication? Come join the discussion and share your tips for staying safe in the cloud.
Who is the Galaxy Note Edge for?
Samsung likes to get a little crazy with mobile devices, and at IFA this week, the Galaxy Note Edge captured everyone’s attention. The curved screen has TgD asking just who is the Note Edge made for? Check out Brad’s hands-on first, and then head to the forums to share your own theories.
Facebook Messenger: Give in, or say goodbye
Decoupling apps is all the rage right now. Foursquare kicked things off with Swarm and Facebook finally spun out Messenger for good. John isn’t thrilled with this move; he doesn’t understand why we need multiple apps for a single service. Is this the final straw for Facebook on your phone?
Are fitness trackers improving your health?
Even though fitness analytics are showing up in phones and smartwatches, the dedicated tracker market is still kicking. They’re coming in the form of bracelets, watches (the non-smart kind) and more. The age-old question still remains though: Do they actually work? A few of our readers have already shared their success stories, so come join the discussion and let us know if all that data-tracking is working for you.
Other discussions you may also like:
- Recommendations for headphones priced under $200
- What IFA announcements have you most excited?
- Operation Finish all the games!
That’s all this week. Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!
Instagram has already revealed a bit about how Hyperlapse turns your shaky handheld footage into smooth time-lapses, but what if you really want to know what makes it tick? Don’t worry — the company will happily satisfy your curiosity with a deep dive into the app’s inner workings. Ultimately, you’re looking at a significant extension of the Cinema tech used in Instagram itself. It’s still using your phone’s gyroscope to determine the orientation of the camera and crop frames to counteract any shakiness. The biggest change is in how Hyperlapse adjusts to different time-lapse speeds. It only checks the positioning for the video frames you’ll actually see, and that crop-based smoothing effect will change as you step up the pace.
Importantly, Instagram’s approach contrasts sharply with what we saw in Microsoft’s similarly-named technique. There, Microsoft is calculating a 3D path through the scene and stitching together frames to create a seamless whole. That approach is potentially nicer-looking, but it’s a lot more computationally intensive; Instagram is taking advantage of your phone’s built-in sensors to create a similar effect without as much hard work. You don’t need to know the nitty-gritty about Hyperlapse to appreciate the effect it has on your clips, but the post is definitely worth a read if you have unanswered questions.
Source: Instagram Engineering Blog
Today, we look at Instagram’s new video sharing app called Hyperlapse, imagine a world with a truly unified inbox, prepare for school with the 10 best tablets available, and more! Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours.
This morning, Facebook-owned Instagram released a new, free iOS app for making time-lapse videos. It’s called Hyperlapse. Though it sounds simple, the app is anything but: it adds beautiful image-stabilization to normally shaky-cam. We’ve compiled half a dozen of the best videos we’ve seen thus far, but we’d love to add more to our collection as the day goes on. Let us know about your favorites in the comments below, on Twitter/Facebook/G+/the Engadget forums, by carrier pigeon — really, whatever means you’d like. Preferably not smoke signals
My phone buzzes. I glance at it and see a text message from my husband, who wants to know if I can pick him up from work. Later that day, my phone buzzes again. This time, it’s a Facebook Messenger notification from my mother, who wants to chat about an upcoming trip. At the same time, a friend pings me using Twitter’s Direct Messages. Next, a colleague strikes up a conversation on Google Hangouts. Realizing it would be easier to handle all of these with a computer, I flip open my laptop so I can chat with everyone simultaneously. Within the span of a few hours, I’ve chatted with four different people on four completely different messaging platforms. And the juggling doesn’t stop there.
It used to be that sending an SMS was enough. Now there’s a seemingly endless number of ways to stay in touch with someone. And it’s not just dedicated messaging apps like WhatsApp or Line either. Instagram added direct messaging this past December; Vine followed suit earlier this April; and even Pinterest joined the bandwagon recently by letting pinners chat with other pinners. And, of course, Twitter has had direct messaging for almost eight years now. While variety and choice are generally good things, all of these messaging services introduce a perplexing problem: We have too many inboxes.
Being able to send messages within different applications isn’t all bad, of course. If I think of an interesting photo or video I want to share with just my friends on Instagram, I can do so within the app easily. The same with Pinterest — I can continue the collaboration process of pinning designs and planning a home remodel, for example, without having to use another messaging service. And, of course, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are a lot cheaper to use than traditional SMS — for US users at least, there’s no need to fork over exorbitant messaging fees every month or, if you’re on a limited plan, cough up pennies with every text.
But the problem is all of these messaging services and apps are siloed experiences. Messages can’t be shared outside of their respective ecosystems. Worse still, I have an obligation to use all of them because different people in my social circle use different apps. When I travelled to Malaysia earlier this year, WhatsApp was the app of choice amongst my friends. A couple of my other pals use Snapchat, so I have that installed on my phone too. A few other early adopter friends (most of whom are admittedly tech writers like myself) use Slingshot, Facebook’s Snapchat alternative, so I’ve got that as well. I also installed Path’s Talk app and Line to chat with a few people, though they were mostly to exchange fun stickers. I even downloaded that silly Yo app, even if I only ever use it in jest.
Forrester researcher Thomas Husson said in a report on messaging apps entitled “Messaging Apps: Mobile Becomes The New Face Of Social” that the “fragmented nature of the social media ecosystem is inherent to the fact that individuals have multiple identities.” Basically, people use different apps and networks for different reasons. For example, people tend to use LinkedIn to talk with potential business partners, while they might use Facebook Messenger only with friends or family. Further, some messaging apps tend to be more popular in certain parts of the world — Line, for example, has a stronger following in Asia — which, if you have friends all over the globe, would mean you’re constantly switching between services.
What’s the big deal, you might ask? Our smartphones and computers are certainly more than capable of handling these disparate systems, and besides, it’s not that difficult to switch between apps, right? Well, sure, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. I shouldn’t have to have a dozen different messaging apps on my phone to talk with all the people in my life. Chris Heuer, a longtime social media user and CEO of Alynd, a social business startup, expresses the same frustration over too many apps: “I think what’s missing in this whole discussion on messaging now is that the messaging is now often done within the context, instead of messaging being the context.” It’s the reason why he dislikes the fragmentation of Facebook Messenger away from the core Facebook app. “Now I have another app I have to open and that will waste more time I don’t have … I’ve got enough apps. I want less, not more.”
Several years ago, there was a similar problem with too many instant-messaging protocols. I used all of them — AOL, Yahoo, MSN, GChat and, yes, even ICQ. I remember installing all of these apps on my computer and keeping them all logged in at the same time because, for some reason, my friends and coworkers just couldn’t agree on the same IM platform. Then, something wonderful happened. All-in-one apps like Trillian and Adium came along to unite most of the disparate IM services under one program. At last, I could launch just one app to chat with everyone.
What we need, then, is an equivalent universal inbox for messaging. No, not just for all your email and text messages. For everything. We need a smart inbox that’ll sort messages by service, label them appropriately and will let you continue conversations within just one app.
There are a few solutions out there that come close to solving the problem. The Hangouts app for Android, for example, is able to handle both Google’s IM system and text messages. If you’re a loyal BlackBerry fan, you already know that the OS from Waterloo has a unified inbox that can house emails, texts and messages from Facebook and Twitter in one place. Disa.im is an Android app currently in alpha that promises to combine SMS, WhatsApp, Hangouts and Facebook messaging in one place as well. There’s also an app called Messages+ that promises to do the same thing, though it seems to fall short — it doesn’t support incoming messages for WhatsApp and we weren’t able to use it to send a message on Facebook.
Still, none of these really live up to the dream of that one, true universal inbox for everything. Which is, sad to say, probably more fantasy than reality. Not only because most of these apps are walled gardens, but also because some, like Snapchat and Slingshot, are based around messages that are meant to disappear after you’ve read them. Further, new messaging features and apps crop up all the time, making it tough to keep something like a universal inbox up-to-date.
The alternate solution, of course, is to insist on just one communication method for people to contact you. You probably won’t be able to keep in touch with as many people in your life, and it might be harder for people to reach you. But, perhaps, that’s the price to pay for sanity.
Hold on, my phone’s buzzing again.