Kobe Bryant announced his retirement at the end of the NBA season through the web and social media — not by press conference. Sure, Twitter retirement announcements aren’t a new thing: Shaq did so in 2011, not to mention David Ortiz and Steve Nash. It wasn’t a completely Twitter-specific announcement. He linked to his farewell message / poem in full on The Players’ Tribune (a site launched by fellow former-athlete Derek Jeter). The site, which allows pro athletes to self-publish (and say what they want to), meant Bryant gets to say his piece — although it’s not specific That said, it’s already been retweeted over 70,000 times, and half an hour later, the NBA followed up itself on Twitter. The response was so strong that Jeter’s site crashed under the strain. It’s back online now, so if you’d like to see a portrait of Bryant whispering his farewell sonnet into a basketball, here’s where to go.
Source: The Players’ Tribune
Twitter announced the rollout of full-screen video playback for its Twitter Kit on Tuesday. That means users will be able to view videos and animated gifs within Twitter without having to pop open a new window or launch the Twitter app — everything is handled within the running app itself. The feature is currently only available for apps running Twitter Kit for iOS8+ but the company is also reportedly releasing an Android version “shortly.”
[Image Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]
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
There are people who share their real phone numbers via a tweet. Yes, really. One programmer decided to teach those folks a lesson by spamming them with cat facts. Using phone numbers that were beamed out in public tweets, the joke included sending text messages about cats until the person tweeted at Eric Snowden “Meow, I <3 catfacts.” Although Snowden isn’t in on the gag, he is a bit of a feline fanatic. He was also quite forthcoming about his own Twitter faux pas. In this case, automated script pulls data from the Twitter API before blasting out the messages full of meow-based facts with an anonymous texting app. The programmer says the goal of the stunt is to teach users who are so loose with their personal details a lesson on how a more ruthless hacker might attack their mobile devices. Pretty solid way to do so, if you ask us.
[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]
Via: The Verge
Sometimes you come across a Vine that you’d like to put your own spin on. To help make that process a little easier, the app now sports a remix tool that allows you to create new audio for the looping footage. To replace the sound on any Vine, simply hit the menu icon under a video (the three dots) and select “Make an audio remix.” From there, you can use your phone’s camera to capture your audio on select a video from your Camera Roll to pull sounds from. When browsing videos in your timeline, a music note will indicate which ones are remixes. That icon will let you view the source material, too. This is the latest in Vine’s new features that help you get the perfect sound for those looping videos, following “Snap to Beat” and access to popular song clips. What’s more, there’s a new search that allows you to search for a clip based on the song it uses. The remix tool is available on iOS starting today and the revamped search is inside both iOS and Android versions of the app.
In the wake of ISIS’ coordinated attacks on Paris Friday night that left 129 civilians dead and scores more injured, the loosely-affiliated hacker collective known as Anonymous announced Sunday the launch of a massive cyber-campaign, dubbed #OPParis, designed to scrub the terrorist organization’s influence from the internet while French airstrikes wipe ISIS strongholds off the map. “We can not fight them with guns and rifles,” an Anonymous spokesperson told the BBC, “stopping their propaganda is an effective way to weaken their manpower and their presence in the Internet.”
Many of us tech geeks go through smartphones like they are disposable. It’s hard to resist the temptation to unbox, caress and turn on a new handset for the first time. Especially when we see updated smartphones with awesome specs and features coming out every few months!
Life is hard in the tech world, especially for our wallets. This is why it’s smarter to sell smartphones instead of going through a complete upgrade. This will help you finance your next acquisition and make another gadget enthusiast happy. After all, it makes no sense to just hoard all these expensive phones, it’s better to hand them over to someone who will give them better use.
Selling is a science, though. Remember a lot of people make a living out of trading, and others become experts in the subject by studying it for years. How can the regular Joe embark on this adventure? I have sold plenty of phones and can say no bad experiences have crossed my path. In fact, I have no horror stories to tell at all, whether it’s from buying or selling pre-owned handsets. I have heard plenty of scary tales, though, which is why we want to give you all the necessary tools to make these transactions as smooth as possible.
The tips listed below will have you well armed for the used gadget marketplace. And though this guide is focused mostly on phones, most steps should apply to tablets, gadgets and even non-tech products. Let’s dig right into the goods!
Be detailed and honest
There are two types of buyers: those who know what they are looking for and those who are browsing to see what could convince them. Regardless of which kind of customer you happen to run across, it will always help to be as detailed as possible. Oh, and please don’t lie about your product’s condition or capabilities. Be honest! These person-to-person transactions require a lot of trust. If I ever notice a seller lies about something, as small as it may be, chances are I won’t continue dealing with him/her.
Is the smartphone very worn out? Maybe you have kept it in a case and protected by a screen cover since day one. Make sure to tell people your situation and let them know if there are any issues with the phone. Look for any scratches and tell them what you have found. Believe it or not, I find this gives you better chances, even if the phone is more damaged than usual, as people already have an expectation of the device’s condition the first time they see it. If they find scratches or cracks you failed to mention, they will just feel cheated.
I also like telling people what the phone is about. It may take a bit of work, but remember most buyers are not always tuned to sites like Android Authority, keeping up with all the latest news in tech. They may have no idea what your phone can do for them, so give them a little run-down of what you think are the coolest features. What makes this phone stand out?
Furthermore, I find it cool when sellers actually bother to list the general phone specs. In a way, you have to think of it like making a mini review. Hey, you could probably even look up our own review of whatever handset you have and link them to it!
By the way, people also like knowing why you are selling your smartphone. Are you upgrading? Are you looking for something newer? Don’t like it anymore? Is it an issue related to the handset? Just let them know!
Time is money!
And we mean that in every sense of the word. Remember smartphones age amazingly fast these days. Most flagship smartphones are considered old in just a few months, so be quick about your sale. Don’t just purchase a new phone and think: “well, I can just put the other one up for sale later”. Put that baby online right away! The longer you wait, the further your phone’s value will swirl down the drain.
Also, try to sell it before the newer generation version of your smartphone is released. People love hearing that the phone they are buying is the “latest flagship” from the company. I have a special trick you can use. I keep an older smartphone around at all times, which I use in between other handsets I buy and sell.
When announcements or strong rumors of a phone I want start showing up, I go ahead and sell my older device, only to stick with my replacement phone for a while. This ensures my older phone will sell faster, easier and at a better price. Then I just wait until the newer phone is actually released and upgrade to it.
Where to sell
You know the fundamentals of internet selling etiquette, so it’s time you go ahead and put that phone online for the world to see. Now you need to figure out which platform you want to sell your beloved smartphone through. Here are our favorites!
Gazelle is likely the safest route for selling your used smartphones, but they will also offer the lowest rates. You can get significantly more selling the phone yourself. The thing about Gazelle is that it’s guaranteed money with no risk. You just tell them about your phone, get an offer, ship it to them and wait for the magic to happen. If all goes well, you will get your payment in the for of a check, Amazon gift card or PayPal. Simple, right?
Go to your carrier!
Very often your own carrier will offer trade-in value for your old handsets. Like Gazelle, though, these are not always the best deal. They are mostly for people who value their time and efforts more than money, but still want to get something for those older devices.
I will tell you right now that Swappa is hands-down my favorite place to sell smartphones. Guess what? You can usually get more money for your technology when using this website! Why? Because Swappa is a proven method for phone trading. These guys will verify every single listing and make sure there’s nothing fishy going on. If the buyer reports anything suspicious, the money will be returned straight to his PayPal account.
People will definitely pay more money for that peace of mind. I know I would! But don’t be too trusting of everyone, regardless of how secure a site is. Our very own Andrew Grush once had to deal with Swappa and Paypal for months to get a refund for a phone that was never delivered to him. In short: Swappa has your back, but resolving issues will take time.
Is Swappa not working for you? eBay is where you go next. For starters, eBay has one of the largest audiences in the world. Your chances of selling anything are multiplied just by using this site, which is known by the vast majority of connected users.
It also helps that eBay happens to have your back, as well. PayPal and eBay will help you get your money back, shall anything go wrong, so people tend to trust it. The one downside is competition. You would literally be competing with the whole world, so chances of you having to sell your phone for less are higher. The benefit is that more people will see it and that phone will likely be sold faster.
While a bit more dangerous and wild, Craigslist is one of the most popular selling and trading networks around. It is almost all over the world and promotes local deals. And because everything is done in person, it is easy to check for yourself that everything is ok.
Just make sure there is nothing shady going on and that the buyer seems legitimate. You know… don’t listen to the “King of Ethiopia” and people trying to have you ship the phone to far away lands. Those scammers are trying to rip you off!
Otherwise, it’s a great place to find people who can buy your phone! Some say there is nothing like a face-to-face deal, and Craigslist is all about that. Not to mention the fact that it’s insanely popular.
Social networks, word of mouth, etc.
You would be surprised to see how many of your friends are probably looking to get a phone just like the one you are selling. I always write a Facebook post or tell friends and family about the gadget I am trying to get rid of, just in case they may find value in it. I usually sell it for cheaper to them, just because they get that special discount, but at least I know I am dealing with someone I trust. Any social network works, by the way. I have used Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Meeting in person? It’s dangerous out there!
I have always said it – Craigslist and other similar selling points are like the wild west of the internet. You better walk in with your hand on your gun holster, because it’s a dog-eat-dog situation in there! You don’t know what kind of buyers you may encounter, so here are some things to watch out for.
For starters, I will never, ever invite someone to come to my house… unless I am selling something that is obviously too big for me to carry around. I always meet them at a very public location like a restaurant or cafe. Better yet, sometimes I ask them to meet me at the carrier store. This will give both the buyer and seller peace of mind. While there, they can check the ESN and see if the phone has been blacklisted. Plus, shady people won’t go to such an official place to try and play some dirty games, right? It makes both parties more comfortable.
Remember to let the customer ask all the questions he/she wants. They are buying a product that is worth hundreds of dollars! Of course they want to know everything about it. Just be there for any questions or concerns they may have. Try to be friendly and leave them some kind of contact number “just in case any issue comes up”. Sometimes I tell people I will help them claim the warranty and that kind of stuff, if they ever need it. By the way, I have never had to do it, but making yourself available helps people feel more secure about that purchase.
How much do you want for your phone?
This is one of the most important steps in the process of selling your phone. How much is that thing even worth? There’s a plethora of factors that come into play, and sadly there is no direct answer to this question. A lot of it is supply and demand, really! Swappa and eBay will usually recommend a reasonable price, which is very helpful, but that is not the case with other platforms like Craigslist.
My first step when trying to figure out a fair price is checking how much the phone would cost new. I usually check out the carrier, Amazon and other popular retailers that carry the same exact version. After that, proceed to seeing how much it usually goes for used. You can check Craigslist, eBay and other sites. You can then compare your phone to others and factor in your device’s current state.
Oh, and try to come up with a price you won’t accept less than. Remember, you are likely to find people who will try to bring the price down. In fact, I encounter these buyers almost every single time. Stick to your guns and don’t give in after a certain point. You don’t want to be ripped off, either. Do go a bit lower in price if you feel the customer deserves that, though.
Just take your time, watch out for shady people, stay honest and always think about the well-being of both your customer and yourself. If you keep these things in mind, we can almost guarantee you’ll end up having a positive experience. But there is a small chance things will still go wrong, even with all these precautions. It’s the risk of selling your used gadgets!
If you would rather go the safer route, you can always trade in your phone to a carrier or go with something like Gazelle. What is your favorite way to get some cash for your older devices? Do you go the simpler way or hustle a bit to get more cash?
Regardless, we hope this will help you have a more pleasant smartphone selling experience, and please hit the comments with all your thoughts! Do you have any other tips for your fellow techies?
Shortly after changing the star to a heart, Twitter has now delivered a bunch of new emotions to express one’s feelings on a particular post. Twitter wants users who write a post to get a sense of how other people are feeling about their tweet. With this enhancement, people can see how someone felt when reading a particular tweet that one wrote. Twitter is hoping this will put an end to the complaints pertaining to the lack of expression. For now, only a few emotions are available so it may remain hard for some to fully describe exactly how they’re feeling. But it’s great to see that Twitter is experimenting with some new implementations.
It should be noted that the update is not permanent and is more of a test run to see if people enjoy the feature. So if you’re digging the new emotion emojis, be sure to let Twitter know!
Come comment on this article: Twitter is testing new emoji reactions
Still bummed that tapping a heart is the only way to show your appreciation, sadness or any other reaction for a tweet? Well, that may change. Twitter user @_Ninji stumbled across emoji reactions in a jailbroken version of the social media app. Despite being included in the developer build, the feature still needs a lot of work, but it does allow users to employ the frown, party noisemaker and 100 emjois (just to name a few) to get their point across. The discovery comes right on the heels of Twitter swapping stars out for hearts when a tweet is favorited, much to the chagrin of most of the internet. Facebook recently added animated options for more appropriate reactions than a simple Like as well. Since the Twitter emojis appear to be a long way from finished, we’d surmise we’ll hear more about the tiny pictures in tweets soon enough. Here’s to hoping the taco and poop emoji make the cut. We’ve reached out to Twitter for more information, and we were sent the monkey with its hands over its mouth emoji.
Source: @_Ninji (Twitter)
Shortly after news broke of the attacks in Paris on Friday, major technology companies stepped up to show support.
Google acted quickly in supplying free calls to France using Hangouts. Through the rest of the weekend, anyone can use Hangouts in order to contact friends and family currently located in the country. The company will likely extend this for a few more days.
Immediately, Facebook activated the Safety Check feature to allow users nearby the attacks the ensure others that they are safe.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, commented:
“My thoughts are with everyone in Paris tonight. Violence like this has no place in any city or country around the world. We’ve activated Safety Check, so if you’re in Paris you can mark yourself safe or check on your friends and family.”
Facebook is also offering a special filter for profile pictures to show their support. Users can place the country’s flag over their own profile pictures temporarily or permanently. Facebook allowed the same thing earlier this year when the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the ban on gay marriage.
Amazon quietly modified its homepage to show the flag of France raised above the French word for “solidarity.” The site also shows the Eiffel Tower next to the word on its banner, visible on every page.
While Twitter did not explicitly make a move, its users took on a huge social responsibility, offering care for those in the city of Paris. The hashtag #PorteOuverte, which means “open door,” was used by Twitter users throughout the city in an effort to provide shelter for those loose on the streets and unable to get to a safe location.
Twitter’s Moments feature, in addition to the straightforward timeline, became a way for people around the world to follow the sights and sounds of what went on in Paris on Friday. Moments is still updating as news follows the aftermath.
As stated last night, the thoughts of everyone at Talk Android are with the people of Paris.
Come comment on this article: Major firms show support after Friday’s attacks in Paris