Month: March 2015

Caliber Debuts A Messaging App Designed For Business Professionals

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Caliber is the messaging app for professionals. Two people who are both on LinkedIn will be able to message each other using this app.

TechCrunch

A number of startups in years past have tried to carve out their own niche in the business networking space under the looming shadow of LinkedIn by offering an alternative way to connect with industry colleagues, often on mobile. But today, a new app called Caliber is offering a slightly different take on the concept: instead of trying to compete with LinkedIn directly, its service offers a complementary tool that lets you chat with your LinkedIn contacts as well as grow your network without being overrun by request spam.

Caliber itself first launched last summer, but initially offered a Tinder-like app for making business connections. That app grew to 20,000 users, but the team realized that it wasn’t quite what people wanted. Users didn’t want to just connect with other interesting people, they wanted to be able to reach their business contacts and message them, explains company co-founder and CEO Andres Blank.

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Amazon ‘Unlocked’ Will Give Away Paid Apps For Free

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Through Amazon “Unlocked”, paid apps and in-app purchasing will now be completely free for (Android) users. Read on for more details.

TechCrunch

Amazon has been working hard to build up the popularity of its Android-based Appstore with consumers and developers — borrowing from the well-thumbed Amazon playbook of deep discounts to drive usage. Now, a new feature it wants to launch looks like it could be its biggest disruptive storefront promotion yet. The company has been working on a new section called “Unlocked” that will offer users a whole range of paid apps, along with those that utilize in-app purchases, free of charge.

Think of it as Amazon Prime for apps.

“Introducing Amazon Unlocked for Apps & Games,” the company notes in one promotional spot. “Paid apps and in-app purchasing now completely FREE from Amazon.”

TechCrunch learned of the new feature by way of an internal presentation, leaked to us, explaining how the new feature will look.

amazon unlocked appsApp developers whose apps are highlighted in the deck include biggies like Sega America, whose Sonic Dash game features prominently in the…

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Twitter Starts Breaking Meerkat Features By Limiting Social Graph Access

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Have you heard of Meerkat? For those who are unaware, Meerkat is a live streaming service which integrates closely with Twitter, automatically announcing that a users’ stream is beginning by sending a tweet. Twitter, apparently, has bought a direct competitor company of Meerkat called Periscope, which is why they blocked their access to its social graph which Meerkat uses.

TechCrunch

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Talk about timing: Twitter confirms they’ve bought Meerkat-competitor Periscope, and but a few hours later Twitter makes a move that kills off a few Meerkat features.

Meerkat is a fast-rising, Twitter-centric live video broadcasting platform that seems to be gaining quite the fanbase since launching just a few weeks back. Viewers of your livestream can tweet at you and have those tweets appear on your screen, allowing for quick, on-the-fly interaction and discussion.

Much of Meerkat’s success and draw lays in its tight integration with Twitter — something that many have noted could be an issue moving forward, be it that Twitter decides to get into live video themselves. Which, of course, they’ve just done.

And now Twitter has begun to cut off off Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social graph.

So what’s that mean? Until now, new Meerkat users could login to the service with their Twitter account, and…

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National Engineering Month

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March is National Engineering Month (NEM) – Canada’s biggest celebration of engineering and engineering technology. To find out more details on what’s happening this month, visit www.nemontario.ca.

On March 4, 2015, as part of NEM and Engineers Without Borders, I delivered a “Water for the World” Workshop for Grade 8 students at the New Toronto Public Library in South Etobicoke. My co-presenter Fidel and I introduced the students to the issues surrounding global access to clean water, and how they can make a difference. As part of the workshop, we had the student create a (rogue) water filter. The water filters that they made are not the ones being used in urban homes, rather they are something that would be used by people in poorer countries/areas where their water source consists of dirty, somewhat muddy water (e.g. Sub-Saharan Africa).

Below are a couple of pictures from the workshop.

EWB W4TW New Toronto Public LibraryEWB W4TW Water Filter Activity

The Story Behind Samsung’s Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge Design Departure

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I like how my Samsung Galaxy S3 fits perfectly in my hands, but I am curious how the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 would feel like in my hands. Read on to find out the story behind the new design on Samsung’s Galaxy phone.

TechCrunch

[tc_dropcap]Samsung has done something very different with this year’s flagship – or different for Samsung, at least. The company that has long held on to the belief that it can produce top-tier hardware using plastics as the core component of device industrial design has switched to an all metal and glass enclosure.[/tc_dropcap] And for those who wondered what a Samsung smartphone using premium materials might feel like, the Galaxy S6 edge in particular is a very promising result. But how did Samsung, of all companies, ever launch a device where design was the primary tentpole feature?

Zero

To get to the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, Samsung says it had to start from zero – meaning tossing out the design book that led to dimpled plastic mock-leather backs and shiny plastic hamburger outer ridges. It means taking a step back and opening up the design process to feedback, listening to the complaints…

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