Skip to content

Archive for


Facebook’s camera can now make GIFs

Facebook has sneakily added a new feature to its app’s camera. Some people are now seeing an option that allows users to make a short GIF directly through the camera, which can then be shared on Facebook stories or on your page. You can also bump up the GIF with a number of frames and filters. However, the downside is you can only share the GIFs on Facebook. They only save as videos and can’t be sent to other platforms through Facebook.

This is the just the latest GIF-related update that the company has released. Earlier this year, Facebook introduced a number of Giphy-powered features to its app, which was followed by the wide release of GIF comments. And the in-app camera saw a major update in March that brought along Snapchat-like filters, Facebook Stories and direct photo and video sharing.

Since not everyone is seeing the GIF option in their app just yet, it appears to be a slow roll out and it’s unclear when or if everyone will get access to it. If you have it, you’ll be able to find it by clicking the camera icon in the app and swiping right to access the GIF function.

Via: The Next Web


‘Narcos’ season 3 arrives on Netflix September 1st

If you’re a fan of Narcos on Netflix, then today’s a good day for you. The streaming network just released the teaser trailer for the third season, which premieres on September 1st. (If you’re not yet caught up on the events of the second season, this trailer does contain spoilers, so consider yourself warned.)

Narcos is set in Colombia and follows the life drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. After an explosive second season that ended with the death of Escobar, the series’ attention turns to the Cali cartel. “While the world was focused on Escobar, Cali became the biggest cocaine cartel in history,” says Javier Peña in the trailer. Looks like the DEA will have its work cut out for it in the new season.

Source: YouTube


Why TV is Facebook’s next frontier

Facebook has long had a love affair with video. Recently, however, the social network has taken its video ambitions one step further: It’s diving into original programming. This involves not just news and sportscasts, but also scripted shows. If that sounds an awful lot like television, well, you’re not wrong. TV is undoubtedly Facebook’s next big thing.

Most people consume video on Facebook circumstantially; they happen to stumble upon clips when scrolling through their News Feed. This all changed with the introduction of the company’s Live feature, which debuted last year to the general public. Suddenly, Facebook became a video destination. The only way to catch a particular livestream was to log on to the site at that very moment. This, according to Facebook, creates an instant social environment, as people convene to watch and experience the same stream together.

“The thing that has been the most fascinating to me is what Live taught us,” said Fidji Samo, Facebook’s VP of Product during a presentation at VidCon last month. “When you pair video with social functionality, it allows people to come together around video content in a way that we really hadn’t seen before. That has really inspired us to think about how video could be a source of bringing communities together.”

The community element is apparent. Many of us already use Facebook to talk about the latest TV shows, so the idea here is that instead of watching a show elsewhere, we could just watch a show on the same platform. And, in order to get people coming back day after day, or week after week (for those ad impressions, of course), the shows can’t just be standalone viral hits — they need to tell a story. That’s where scripted original programming comes in.


Hence, Facebook has cobbled together a small group of partners and creators to deliver such programming. Nick Grudin, Facebook’s VP of Media Partnerships, says that these are shows that “you can build a community around,” which is exactly what Samo alluded to.

Facebook becoming a TV platform might sound like a stretch, but it’s not the only social media company dabbling in the field. Twitter is doing the same with live news and sports broadcasts — everything from weekly baseball games to live coverage of Wimbledon. Twitter also partnered with Xbox to stream its E3 coverage and with Nike to cover the attempt by runners to break the two-hour marathon barrier.

“Live streaming video is a strong complement to the live nature of Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson said when asked how video fits in with the company’s overall strategy. And it’s worked for them so far — over 2 million watched its livestream of NFL games week after week and more than 1.1 million tuned in when it broadcasted WNBA match-ups.

Facebook airs live video too, of course, but it mostly comes from brands and personalities rather than news sources. Delving into scripted original programming, on the other hand, is perhaps more suited to the way people consume Facebook — not on a constant always-on basis, but whenever they have free time.

Hand holding tablet with Video sharing on screen on table

Plus, let’s not forget that original programming has proven to be a fantastic strategy for other video outlets, like Netflix and Amazon. Even though both had pretty robust streaming services already, creating and hosting original shows transformed them into more than just a place to watch reruns of old shows. Now, they are video destinations unto themselves, providing an alternative to the traditional way of watching television.

YouTube is another shining example of original programming, but in shorter-form formats from the likes of independent creators and smaller internet media companies. Facebook, in an effort to broaden its audience, wants to try its hand at both kinds of shows.

So far, the company has invested in a variety of them — reportedly spending between $10,000 and $35,000 for short videos and around $250,000 for longer programming — and there’ll apparently be two dozen of them before the summer is over. The lineup runs the gamut: a show that stars Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe; Champions League matches, a reality series starring LaVar Ball; and video from providers like Buzzfeed, Vox and ATTN.

There’s no word yet on actual scripted storytelling programming, but the company is apparently paying millions to Hollywood to come up with them. It seems like Facebook is sparing no expense to make sure this whole TV thing works.

It makes sense when you think about it. If Facebook is already a watercooler gathering spot for entertainment, why not make it the entertainment source too. Facebook clearly has the money and the clout to make that happen. And since social media rivals like Twitter and Snapchat are also getting into TV, Facebook doesn’t want to be the one left behind. The only real question is if people will actually buy into it. And if they do, will Facebook take on the responsibilities of a real media company?


Sotheby’s is auctioning off artifacts from the US space program

Nothing celebrates an anniversary like getting people to cough up extraordinary amounts of money, which is why Sotheby’s has something special planned for the 48th anniversary of the first moon landing. On July 20, the auction house will be holding a space exploration-themed auction with one-of-a-kind items up for sale.

The most interesting item of the collection is a lunar sample return bag (complete with lunar dust), used by Neil Armstrong to bring back the first moon rocks. Sotheby’s says, “Nearly all of the equipment from that historic mission is housed in the US national collection at the Smithsonian. This is the only such artifact available for private ownership.” It’s estimated to sell for between $2 million and $4 million.

Many of these items come from the personal collections of the astronauts themselves, so there are some unexpected items up for grabs. Sure, there are the usual autographed photos and books, but there are also flight plans and charts, signed by astronauts, a small U.S. flag flown on Apollo 13 and a spacesuit thermal cover made for Gus Grissom. There’s also hardware for sale: If you’ve ever wanted to own the computer processor of a Space Shuttle orbiter, this is your chance.

It’d be easy to make fun of this auction, but honestly there’s a lot of really cool stuff in here for space enthusiasts. As for me, I have my eye on an autographed matted and framed photo of the Apollo 11 crew. Anyone have an extra $7,000 I can borrow?

Source: Sotheby’s


Insider trader caught because he googled how to commit fraud

Look, we don’t want to tell you how to commit crimes, but we do know that Googling how to commit said crime isn’t a smart starting point. It’s a lesson the Department of Justice wants you to learn, after arresting a person on suspicion of insider trading who looked up how to do so online.

The story begins with Fei Yan, a post-doctoral researcher at a “major university” in Cambridge, Mass., which we could guess at being MIT or Harvard. Yan’s spouse was a lawyer at a major law firm, who was working on a deal related to the purchase of Stillwater Mining Company.

Somehow, Yan got wind of the deal and decided to try to make some cash with the insider information he’d seen. The figure, over a period of several days, bought the better part of 500 shares in the company, which eventually netted him a profit close to $110,000.

But after a large purchase on December 6th, 2016, Yan began Googling phrases related to insider trading, such as “how sec detect unusual trade.” Subsequent searches included looking for phrases “insider trading with international account,” and read a website telling users how not to commit the crime.

Here’s the thing, kids, if you’re going to be dumb enough to look for tutorials on how to commit crimes, just remember about incognito mode, okay?

Source: Department of Justice


Drone Racing League sets Guinness record for fastest flight

The team behind the Drone Racing League (DRL), which is in the midst of its second aired racing season, have just set a Guinness World Record for the fastest battery-powered remote-controlled quadcopter. The drone earning the title is the DRL RacerX, which was designed and built by Ryan Gury, DRL’s director of product, and the company’s team of engineers.

The 800 gram drone hit a speed of 179.6MPH, but because the official record is the average top speed of both legs of a back and forth flight, the Guinness entry is 163.5MPH. “The record-setting RacerX represents the culmination of years of technological innovation by our team of world class engineers, and we’re very excited to unveil the fastest racing drone on earth,” said DRL CEO Nicholas Horbaczewski in a statement. DRL said that earlier versions of the RacerX burst into flames when reaching top acceleration speeds because of how much power was used.

You can catch the tail end of DRL’s second season on ESPN now and the London-based finale is set to air on July 28th at 9PM Eastern. You can watch a video of the Guinness World Record flight below.

Source: Drone Racing League


Authorities bust AlphaBay, the dark web’s biggest marketplace

After the demise of Silk Road, the role of the dark web’s most notorious black marketplace was assumed by AlphaBay. But The Wall Street Journal reports that the site has now been shuttered, thanks to a joint law enforcement operation between the US, Canada and Thailand. One of its operators, Canadian Alexandre Cazes, was arrested in Thailand, but was found dead in his prison cell earlier this week.

AlphaBay was used to sell narcotics, stolen financial data, methods to commit internet fraud and weapons, reportedly earning millions of dollars each week. But questions linger on where exactly all of the profit has gone, with the paper reporting that the site’s other founders have absconded with millions in Bitcoin.

AlphaBay was previously in the news after a vulnerability in the site’s code enabled people to read private messages on the site. The revelation prompted other black markets, such as Hansa Market, to launch bug bounty programs to protect themselves against similar leaks. It’s not clear if AlphaBay’s flaw helped the authorities, but the move will likely encourage other sites to get better at security and privacy.

Source: WSJ


Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time

Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 


Mnemosyne generates passwords from a passphrase of your choice and a user name. Generated passwords are never stored to the device; they are re-created from the passphrase that you memorize and your user name.

Available on:



Mango is the ideal tool for monitoring your calorie intake and physical activity routine on a daily basis; it’s the perfect app if you want to lose weight, or simply improve your eating habits.

Available on:



Aura’s powerful and beautifully designed tools will help you add beautiful frames, filters, text and so much more to your photos, in the most creative and playful way.

Available on:


Beginner Runner

Get off your couch and start your journey toward running your first 5k feeling strong, confident, and ready for the challenge, all with Beginner Runner.

Available on:


OneHour Guitar Chord Method

Looking to learn the guitar? You might be able to do so by way of this app. It’s not a chord generator, but in one hour, it promises to have you throwing your chord dictionary into the fireplace.

Available on:



Get the most out of your music with Equalizer+, the app that lets you customize the sound quality for your various music tracks.

Available on:



The buzzbox beehive monitor is like a Fitbit for honeybees

Why it matters to you

Hive monitoring devices like BuzzBox could help us stabilize dwindling honeybee populations all over the world

The plight of the world’s honeybees and their struggle against colony collapse disorder has been well documented. In 2016 alone, more than 40 percent of colonies in the United States perished. To fight this troubling trend, many beekeepers have turned to technology for help — and soon they might have another high tech tool at their disposal. Say hellow to BuzzBox: an innovative hive monitoring device designed to keep beekeepers more in touch with their buzzing broods.

Bees are finicky creatures, and a wide variety of different factors can affect the overall activity and health of a given hive. The BuzzBox system is based around a series of sensors that track these factors — things like ambient temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and more. As an added bonus, the entire unit is powered via a two-watt solar panel. The device also has a a built-in anti-theft accelerometer to monitor movement just in case someone tries to nab your kit and/or hived.

The BuzzBox is also capable of recording and analyzing the acoustics inside of a hive and recognize patterns over time. This enables the device to detect a panoply of diseases, parasites, and other health issues facing a colony — which gives beekeepers time to intercede before the issues spread to the entire hive.

All of this information is readily available via the accompanying BuzzBox Hive Health Monitor app (available on both Android and iOS). Once installed, the app will will allow beekeepers to receive updates from BuzzBox, and more aptly monitor their hives and analyze the data they create. The app will be able to track and relay information pertaining to collapsed colonies, swarm and pre-swarm behavior, and also detect a missing Queen (a common factor in collapsed colonies).

The campaign’s creators plan to incorporate other features in the future based on community beekeeper feedback. Currently, BuzzBox is working with a lab to gather data from 24 hives that have been exposed to an array of pesticides. The company hopes these pesticides will prompt the exposed bees to emit a unique audio signal. This acoustic fingerprint could be used to add a pesticide toxicity detection element to the platform. The company claims the BuzzBox will be automatically updated with more accurate hive health reports as the company learns other indicators.


Pokémon Go Plus ring adapter and themed decals set for Japanese release

Why it matters to you

Pokémon Go was ubiquitous last summer, and this new accessory is just one part of a larger strategy to reclaim that level of popularity.

Niantic Inc. is currently hard at work doing everything its power to ensure that the first-anniversary celebrations for Pokémon Go catapult the game toward the level of popularity it enjoyed upon its release last summer. In Japan, that effort will be supported by a brand-new way to utilize the Pokémon Go Plus wearable that launched last year.

A new adapter will allow players to wear their Pokémon Go Plus device as a ring on their finger, giving them easy access to it whenever they need to let loose a Pokéball. Previously, the hardware was confined to the user’s wrist.

The ring adapter costs around $3.50, and doesn’t include the actual Pokémon Go Plus hardware, according to a report from Gamespot. There’s currently no confirmation that it will be made available outside of Japan, but given that the Pokémon Go Plus device sold like hot cakes when it launched internationally, there’s reason to believe that the product will eventually reach the U.S.

The Pokémon Go Plus wearable allows players to perform certain actions in-game without reaching for their phone. It gives off an alert when a Pokéstop is nearby, and also can be used to capture Pokémon when they’re in the vicinity.

However, there are some questions about how useful the hardware is at this stage of the game. A recent update to Pokémon Go added the ability to gain items at gyms in much the same way as a Pokéstop, but it has been confirmed that the Pokémon Go Plus wearable won’t be updated to support this new mechanic — much to the frustration of players on Reddit.

It’s understandable that technical issues might make adding this kind of functionality difficult. However, it’s strange to see new Pokémon Go Plus accessories being released when the hardware isn’t in step with the current version of the game.

The Pokémon Go Plus ring accessory launches on July 15 in Japan, and will be on sale at Pokémon Centers across the country. As well as the adapter, special decals for the wearable based on the designs of Great Balls, Ultra Balls, and Master Balls are also set to be made available.

%d bloggers like this: