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4
May

Badoo, the dating app that has more singles than Tinder


Badoo is totally different now.

If you’re looking for a new dating app or even a new social media app to try, consider Badoo, even if you’ve checked it out before. The app has recently updated and has several new features. Like before, you can use it to find nearby people, but you can also swipe to find matches. Badoo claims to be the biggest dating network in the world, so it’s definitely not something to ignore.

Here’s everything you need to know about Badoo, including how it works and what makes it so unique.

What is Badoo?

Badoo is a dating app and social discovery app in one. You can access it from iOS devices, Android devices, and from desktop browsers. It has over 345 million people worldwide – more users than the entire US population – and lets you find people in 190 countries and in 47 languages. There are people using it in every country, according to Badoo, and the average person already has 40 friends on it.

How does Badoo work?

Once you download Badoo, you’ll be asked to sign create an account (you can sign in with Facebook). It will then walk you through a one-time tutorial, which walks you through the main user interface and standout features. The main user interface, which is what you see whenever you open Badoo, has a navigation bar running along the bottom with four buttons that provide access to four core features:

  • Discover who’s nearby (globe icon), Play to Match (cards icon), Message center (chat bubble icon), and Profile (person silhouette icon).

Discover who’s nearby shows you nearby Badoo users. To view a person, just tap their image, and then you will see a short bio, the user’s location, verification details, and more photos if available. You can always tap the filter button in the top right corner of the Discover who’s nearby screen to adjust your preferences for location, the type of gender you want to see, and what age range.

Play to Match is just like Tinder. It’s an area where you can see full-screen photos of people you may be interested in, and if you are, simply swipe to the right on their photo. You can also swipe to the left to reject. To view more photos of a person, swipe from the bottom of the screen. And to view their profile in full, just tap on any of their photos.

Message center is where you can see all your connections. You can message with matches or friends on Badoo from here. All connections are listed on this screen, allowing you to simply scroll from the bottom up to view everyone. If you tap the All Connections button on this screen, you will see submenus chats, visits, likes, and favorites, specifically. If someone adds you as a favorite,

Profile is where you go to adjust your Badoo settings and account info, get verified by linking another social profile you have to your Badoo (such as Facebook or Instagram), and to acquire more credits and super powers (more on these later). Tap the edit button in the top corner to add photos (from your Facebook, Instagram, or camera roll) and your ‘about you’ basic details.

Badoo

Does Badoo cost anything?

Badoo is free to download and use, though you need to pay to unlock premium functions.

Super Powers

However, to unlock premium functions (aka Super Powers), like the ability to see who favorited you, you will need a three-month subscription for $24.99 (or a Lifetime Super Powers pass, which is a one-time payment of $59.99 rather than a subscription plan). There’s also options to buy the subscription by six months, one month, and one week. You can pay by credit card, Google Play (on Android), or PayPal.Seven-day trial

There’s a seven-day trial that gives you free Super Powers, so you can see who liked you, chat with popular users, unlock your favourites folder, change your vote, go icognito, be the first to chat to new users, and get your chats to the top of other users’ Message center.

Credits

You can also pay to rise up and increase your popularity, but it’ll cost you credits. Credits cost $1.50 for 100 and go up to $19.99 for 2,750 credits. Other things you can buy with credits include extra shows when people are swiping, more visits, show you’re online, etc.

Badoo

How does Badoo differ from its competitors?

Badoo isn’t just about swiping.

It aims to gives you choice so you can not only match with but also discover people nearby or in any location (just select the city and you’re there). And because users can verify their Badoo profiles through Facebook, a phone call, or photo verification, you know you’re not going to be cat-fished. Badoo even has 5,000 moderators worldwide who check to ensure people are who they say they are.

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4
May

‘Blackout’ is a VR love letter to NYC’s subway riders


I heard the familiar “ding dong” of the NYC subway as the doors closed and looked over to the person sitting next to me, and all of a sudden, they were telling me their life story. It was like one of those serendipitous moments of human connection that you dream of when you move to a city — before the crushing reality of daily life makes you more cynical. It also wasn’t real.

I was sitting through Blackout, a VR experience that places you inside a subway car alongside virtual versions of real-life New Yorkers. It was one of the most unique encounters I had at the Tribeca Film Festival last week, and it’s among many examples of how VR storytelling is now aiming a bit deeper.

Developed by the NYC VR studio Scatter, Blackout is meant to shine a light on stories from everyday subway riders. The company used DepthKit, its volumetric capturing technology, to record New Yorkers in three dimensions as they told their tales. Their models were then dropped into a virtual environment, which you explore in a VR headset while walking around a physical subway car replica.

“What we wanted people to feel in Blackout was intimacy and a sense of community with strangers around us,” said Yasmin Elayat, Blackout’s co-director. “The idea would be like This American Life for VR. … In each episode we’re talking a certain meta theme or topic.” In the first episode, Scatter explored the idea of what it means to be American and the idea of otherness, topics that feel particularly relevant in the current political climate.

When I stepped into Blackout, I found myself in an L train heading into Manhattan. After some sort of mechanical issue, the train stalled, giving me time to look around the car. The passengers around me weren’t photorealistic. Instead, they looked like semiabstract digital interpretations of their human counterparts. That’s partially due to the technology involved, and partially it’s an aesthetic choice. It gives Blackout a dreamlike vibe rather than a purely realistic tone. There are also some clear cinematic influences, like Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire.

Each time I focused on a person, she was highlighted with a spotlight and I instantly started hearing her story. There was a child of illegal immigrants, who talked about growing up in Long Island and seeing rising racial tensions over the years. There was a busker who spent his life in the city and belted out a beautiful melody. And there was a Muslim-American woman who worried how people perceive her today.

Blackout was unique among the many VR entries at Tribeca because it was an ongoing project. Scatter was scanning new participants throughout the festival, the idea being that you’d encounter new people every time you went through the experience (like the real New York City subway!). Eventually, Scatter plans to release it for home viewing. Without the massive replica subway car, of course.

Check out the rest of our coverage from Tribeca 2017 here.

4
May

All Google needs to update business info is a Street View photo


Google is no stranger to using machine learning to improve its products — or save manatees. To that end, the internet juggernaut has announced that its algorithms are capable of successfully pulling business names and phone numbers from Street View photos. In its tests, the technology was successful at “reading” French street signs over 84 percent of the time. Meaning, now a Street View car can roam the streets of a city and fill in a business’ Google Maps profile automatically. It stems from Google’s work using machine learning and computer vision to blur out faces and license plates.

More directly, it builds on the way that Google has been extracting house numbers for Street View for the past few years. It took a lot of doing, though. Datasets made up of multiple versions of the same signs had to be pored over to make up for visual artifacts and blurring. The algorithms then pieced these images together to extract the names and data from them.

Google says that this has been used to improve the location data for around a third of addresses around the world. Perhaps even on the Skyfall island and in Middle Zealand. If you fancy using Google’s dataset for yourself, the framework is available on GitHub.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: GitHub, arXiv, Google Research

4
May

ISIS created its own social network to spread propaganda


Social media has been a main tool for Islamic State militants to spread propaganda and recruit members for years now. But as companies like Twitter and Telegram continue to crack down on ISIS accounts, militants appear to be building their own private social networks to further their communications efforts. European Police Office (Europol) director Rob Wainwright said at a security conference in London that a new network was discovered during a two-day operation against Islamic extremism. According to Reuters, Europol conducted the operation along with the United States, Belgium, Greece, Poland and Portugal; it uncovered more than 2,000 extremist “items” across a total of 52 online networks.

“Within that operation it was revealed IS was now developing its very own social media platform, its own part of the internet to run its agenda,” Wainwright said. He didn’t give much other detail on the network itself, but did note that this new platform appears to be a response to increased attention from established companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to remove extremist material when possible. “We have certainly made it a lot harder for them to operate in this space but we’re still seeing the publication of these awful videos, communications operating large scale across the Internet,” he said.

This news comes at a time when it seems Twitter at least has had some success at blocking ISIS-related material from its service — last summer, the White House said that ISIS Twitter traffic had dropped 45 percent over the last two years. That news came a few months after it was revealed Twitter itself banned 125,000 ISIS-sympathetic accounts. And in late 2015, messaging app Telegram cracked down on dozens of pro-ISIS chat channels. Facebook, Apple, Dropbox, Microsoft and other big tech companies have also been linked to the online fight against ISIS.

But as long as the group can continue to create its own private networks for disseminating propaganda, it’ll be hard to stop them completely. Wainwright said Europol wasn’t sure how much harder it would be to take down ISIS communications on a private network versus working with established tech companies, but fighting back against online propaganda will continue to remain a big part of the fight against ISIS going forward.

Source: Reuters

4
May

Google is still adding basic chat features to Allo


Slowly, Google is bringing its Allo chat app’s basic functionality up to speed with the likes of iMessage and Telegram. The application’s latest update adds the encrypted incognito mode to group chats (previously it was only available in one-on-one conversations). As Droid Life notes, you can even set an expiration timer for when your conversation goes out of incognito mode. Then there are link previews, which many other chat apps have had for awhile now. But hey, having Assistant in your chats from the get-go was impressive, right?

And I’d be remiss for passing over the backup and restore feature for chats, which, as the name suggests, enables you to save and resurface conversations. Now we just have to wait to see if Google will sacrifice Allo in a blood ritual at I/O this month before announcing another chat app. It’s kind of the company’s thing.

Via: Droid Life

Source: Google Play

4
May

The last Ringling Bros. circus will be streamed on Facebook Live


The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will close this month after more than 100 years in operation, but the curious who haven’t taken in the so-called “greatest show on earth” will get one more chance — regardless of whether they buy a ticket. Ringing Bros. announced today that the final performance will be broadcast over Facebook Live, a decidedly modern move for such a traditional show. The show will also be streamed from the Ringling Bros. homepage, as well.

The performance takes place on Sunday, May 21st at 7PM ET and will be broadcast from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum just outside of New York City. The use of Facebook Live over something like YouTube just speaks to how dominant Facebook’s streaming service has become in the last year, even when the company is struggling to stop users from broadcasting horrific events. The final show of a pretty legendary circus is certainly will help Facebook frame its service in a more positive light.

RIngling Bros. announced its touring circus would come to an end this past January due to declining ticket sales and rising production costs. But this isn’t the first time they’ve streamed an event live — the final show involving live elephants. The elephants were a hallmark of the circus for decades, but Ringling Bros. had come under increasing fire from animal rights groups to stop using the animals in performances. This May’s performance won’t feature any elephants, but there’s no doubt it’s still the end of an era.

Source: Ringling Bros.

4
May

Roku’s Twitter channel brings livestreams to your living room


Twitter just announced a slew of new live content earlier this week and now Roku is giving its users a way to watch it all in their living room. The set-top box company revealed today a dedicated channel for all of Twitter’s live video on its range of streaming devices. This means that you’ll be able to follow along just like you would on any other Roku channel rather than through Twitter on mobile or the desktop.

Of course, this means Roku owners now have the option to watch live coverage of sports, news, politics and more from their sofa and on the biggest screen in their house. Twitter’s live video partners include Bloomberg, BuzzFeed, NBA, MLB, Live Nation and many more so there’s a range of stuff to choose from. And that includes an upcoming 24-hour news option. In addition to streaming the live content, the Roku channel will also feature a Twitter timeline to keep you up to speed on the conversation surrounding whatever you’re watching.

While the new channel will certainly come in handy, Roku is somewhat late to bring a dedicated option to its range of hardware. Apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Xbox One added live Twitter streams to those devices back in September while Android TV tacked on the social network’s content in November.

Live Twitter video on Roku is available to all owners of a current-gen streaming device today via the Roku Channel Store. What’s more, you don’t need a Twitter account to watch, so anyone with the proper gear can tune in.

4
May

Facebook begins selling low-cost WiFi in India


Facebook’s internet.org is on a mission to bring connectivity to the most remote communities on Earth. And while moonshot projects like Aquila are still in early development, the company is pushing forward with a different strategy: empowering local entrepreneurs to resell internet hotspots through its Express WiFi program, which just officially launched in partnership with Indian telecom Bharti Airtel.

Unlike the company’s failed “Free Basics” program, which enabled users to visit Facebook websites for free and was struck down by Indian courts for violating net neutrality, Express WiFi costs money. Just, not a whole lot of it.

“Our strategy has always been that these programs work if they are financially sustainable for the partners we work with,” James Beldock, Facebook’s product manager for Express Wi-Fi, told TechCrunch. “Facebook’s strategy is to enable partners to make connectivity at scale sustainable, not to dictate pricing.”

For Express WiFi, Facebook partnered with 500 local businesses in four Indian states — Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya — and have initially rolled out 700 hotspots with 20,000 more to activate in the coming months. These retailers will be able to sell hotspot access at a reasonable rate that they and the ISP decide, not Facebook. The plans will range from around Rs. 10 ($0.15) for 100MB of data to Rs 300 (~$5) for 20 GB of data, per day.

“Express Wi-Fi is designed to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content,” Munish Seth, Facebook’s head of connectivity solutions for Asia-Pacific, said in a statement. Facebook is already operating this service in Kenya and is trialling it in Tanzania, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Given that 184 million Facebook users (9 percent of the network’s entire base) reside in India, there’s little mystery why the company is working so diligently to develop that market. But Facebook isn’t the only one trying to make inroads in India. Google has been pushing its services as well, installing free WiFi in 400 railway stations and offering an offline YouTube app.

Source: Internet.org

4
May

Epix Updates iOS App With ‘Epix Cast’ for Seamless Movie Streaming to Smart TVs


Epix has updated its iOS app with a new feature called “Epix Cast,” which allows users to beam videos from the service’s mobile app to compatible smart TVs and streaming boxes, even if the receiving device doesn’t have an Epix app. Notably, Epix Cast allows iOS and Android smartphones to be used normally during a casting, and videos will continue playing “even if the device turns off.”

To use the feature, Epix viewers simply have to find a movie to watch in the app, choose the “Tap to TV” button, and select from a list of nearby streaming devices that are connected to their Wi-Fi network to instantly play the selected movie on a bigger screen. When a video is playing the Epix mobile app can act as a remote, a browser to queue up the next movie, and a social feed to discuss the movie with fellow fans.

Epix Cast also allows users to seamlessly switch between multiple TVs and devices without having to start a movie over again. In an interview with TechCrunch, Epix chief digital officer Jon Dakss detailed the technology behind the feature, which goes beyond simply mirroring video playing on an iPhone and performs searches online in order to discover “the highest quality version that will work on your TV.”

A pioneer in cross-platform viewing, EPIX is again advancing the “TV Everywhere” experience by making it easier for all audiences to enjoy its content on connected TV devices with the touch of a finger on their smart phones. Premium entertainment network EPIX today announced that it has launched EPIX Cast, a new feature that allows users to cast EPIX content from their Apple and Android devices to any connected TV device without the need for additional hardware.

“From the very beginning of the creation of EPIX, our network has been focused on reaching consumers wherever they are, whenever they want and with an experience that is unrivaled in the market today,” said Mark Greenberg, EPIX CEO. “With this new feature, we’re once again leading the charge on advancing the consumer viewing experience”.

Epix Cast has launched thanks to help from start-up Vizbee, which created the “Vizbee Device Network” to seamlessly connect all video devices in a household and now fuels the new casting feature on Epix.

Compatible streaming devices and smart TVs include: Google Chromecast, Sony Blu-ray Disc Players, LG webOS TVs, Sony Android TVs, Sony Opera TVs, Vizio TVs, and unspecified “other Smart TVs.” Down the line, Epix said Samsung Tizen TVs, LG NetCast TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and TiVo support will be added.

Epix launched an Apple TV app in February, but incoming support for Epix Cast on Apple’s set-top box was not confirmed. Like any use of Epix, users will have to sign in with an existing cable provider that includes the entertainment channel in its package listing. When asked whether the company would launch a standalone subscription model in a similar vein to HBO Now, Dakss neither confirmed nor denied such a move, saying, “It’s an area that we continue to explore and look at.”

Epix can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free [Direct Link], and this week’s update also includes enhancements to the personalization and communication features of the app.

Tag: Epix
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4
May

‘C by GE’ Smart LED Light Bulbs Will Support HomeKit This Summer


GE today announced that its connected LED light bulbs C-Life and C-Sleep will gain Apple HomeKit compatibility this summer.

A new C-Reach hub with HomeKit support will allow homeowners to turn on and off their “C by GE” lights, dim them, and control bulbs individually or in groups by rooms with Siri voice commands. The lights also should be able to be controlled with the Home app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 10 or later.

GE said the C-Reach hub will sell for less than $50 and will be available at a discount when bundled with some lights, according to The Verge.

GE describes the C-Life as an “everyday” light bulb that provides “optimal daytime light,” while the C-Sleep light bulb is supposedly “warm and calm at night” and “crisp and vibrant in the morning.” A starter pack with two C-Life and two C-Sleep light bulbs is available for $74.99 plus shipping in the United States.

Tags: HomeKit, GE
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