It’s easy to imagine a piece of art in your head, but making it real is another matter if you’re not an artist. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply describe what you wanted? WordsEye is trying just that. Its beta web app lets you describe a scene using natural-language text, and uses statistical parsing to translate that into a 3D image. You can name objects and their qualities using terms that are as fuzzy or exacting as you like, including relative concepts like position. It’s easy to use, although the results can be more than a little surreal — just look at the pictured rat on a cat on a Christmas cow if you need proof.
If your wallet is bursting at the seams with credit, gift and loyalty plastic, the Coin universal card is supposed to lighten the load. Just add all your information to the app, sync it with Coin and get ready to buy all the things with a swipe or an NFC tap. Except when you can’t. While the premise and feature set are intriguing, and in some cases helpful, in practice, it feels like too little too late. With Apple Pay, Android Pay. Samsung Pay and others already working on the future of transactions, Coin might might have missed the boat.
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Google and Samsung haven’t always seen eye-to-eye about how the Android platform should progress – usually it has been Google looking on like a disappointed parent as Samsung does it’s own thing. Infamous reports of this include Google pressuring Samsung to get rid of Magazine UX it had initially implemented on the Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro tablets, as well as Google getting all worked up about Samsung using Tizen in its wearables instead of Android Wear, and the always good story of Google telling Samsung to stop bloating its devices with apps. This time, reports are alleging that Google wants to help Samsung optimize TouchWiz, it’s user interface experience, presumably because while it is significantly better than previous iterations, it’s still not quite silky smooth.
We can’t confirm the validity of this report, but there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, why would Google only be getting involved now – Samsung is hardly at the height of its powers and the TouchWiz we have now isn’t all that bad, all things considered. Another interesting consideration is why Google would be taking an active role in helping Samsung as opposed to saying “Hey Samsung, be more like stock Android”.
While these are not questions we likely have answers to right now, it’s an interesting scenario to consider if true – what do you think about all of this? Let us know in the comments below.
The post New rumours suggests Google wants to help Samsung optimize TouchWiz appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
When you switch on the traffic layer in Bing Maps, you’ll now get a lot more info than color-coded route details. On top of letting you know how bad (or good) traffic is along your route, Bing allows you to see where traffic cameras are for a look at that commute. You can also check multiple cameras at the same time if you want to take a glance at the places where you typically encounter delays along the way. Like Google Maps and other navigation apps, Bing Maps already let you know if you should expect a backup, and now you can take a look at the congestion, or lack thereof, for yourself with this latest addition.
Hoopla, the app that lets you borrow videos, books and music from your local library digitally, has been on a roll this year when it comes to adding comics. Now, it’s making a play for your living room by adding Chromecast support for videos. You’ll need a public library card to access Hoopla’s streaming catalog, as always, but at least you won’t have to worry about late fees. Anything you borrow from Hoopla expires automatically (and yes, multiple people can view the same file at once). Digital lending isn’t anything new for libraries, but usually it involves fighting with a clunky library website, rather than having everything accessible through a simple app. Hoopla currently covers 865 library systems, and its library now has more than 400,000 pieces of media.
Uber’s rapidly becoming a polarizing topic, with people either prepared to defend it to the hilt or attack it with similar fervor. Much of that hate comes from a belief that the firm has a lax attitude towards background checks and its passengers safety. That’s why the company is hoping to remedy the problem by appointing its first ever safety advisory board. According to the LA Times, the panel is made up of weighty names that include Ed Davis, Boston’s former police commissioner and Cindy Southworth, vice president at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Source: LA Times
Following on a series of recent upgrades and UI improvements, Snapchat began rolling out a new feature for its users on Monday, called Story Explorer. With it, users will be able to more fully examine and interact with the events that they’re most interested in, similar to Twitter Moments. Simply swipe up from the bottom of any curated Story and the app will load up more Snaps relating to it. The new feature is currently only available for New York and Los Angeles Live Stories but the company plans to expand it to other Stories “very soon.”
The Apple Pencil is aimed at professional artists who want to use the iPad Pro as a fancy creation tablet, but Simon Gladman has other uses in mind for the stylus. He made three Swift apps that use the Apple Pencil in new ways: as a synthesizer powered by AudioKit, in an image-editing program and as part of an electronic scale. PencilSynth uses the Apple Pencil’s position on the iPad Pro to control the sound emitted, changing pitch and frequency as the Pencil travels at different angles across the screen. PencilController offers three image-filtering modes (hue/saturation, brightness/contrast and gamma/exposure), each controlled by holding one finger on the appropriate mode key and moving the Apple Pencil around a pivot point on the screen. PencilScale is the most “experimental” of Gladman’s projects, using the Apple Pencil as a stand for a series of weights sitting directly on top of a scale app. Gladman calls PencilScale “sensitive, but not terribly accurate.”
Source: Simon Gladman
Belgium’s capital, Brussels, entered lockdown this weekend as authorities swept the city for suspected terrorists, including at least one high-profile fugitive wanted in connection with the Paris attacks. On Twitter, authorities prompted residents to refrain from posting pictures or information about ongoing police movement — and Belgian residents obliged, with a twist. They flooded the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown with pictures of cats, making information about raids harder to find and showcasing the country’s solidarity against terrorism. On Monday, as the city remained under its highest-level terror alert, Belgian federal police thanked residents on Twitter with a picture of cat food and the message, “For the cats who helped us last night… Help yourself!”
[Image credit: Flickr/julochka]
Via: The New York Times
Just in time to entice holiday shoppers, Fibit is updating its Surge and Charge HR fitness trackers with a handful of new features. First, a SmartTrack feature automatically recognizes exercises during your workouts and records them in the Fitbit app along with details on duration, calories burned and heart rate. SmartTrack can determine if you’re on the elliptical, outdoor biking, running, walking or doing one of a few aerobic workouts (Zumba, cardio-kickboxing , dance, etc.). It can also detect if you’re playing sports like tennis, basketball and soccer. You can personalize the activity recognition too, telling the tech which movements you want logged as exercise and how long you want to be moving before it starts to track them. By default, you’ll need to be in motion at least 15 minutes before the recording starts. When it comes to heart-rate tracking, the two wearables are getting improved PurePulse performance for those more intense workout sessions. By using Exercise Mode on the Charge HR and multi-sport modes on the Surge, the gadgets will provide a better “experience” during and after those high-energy activities like Zumba.