Path launches for Windows Phone as a public beta

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Path today quietly launched an app for Windows Phone, but there’s a small catch: it’s a public beta. Nevertheless, the social network has arrived on Microsoft’s mobile platform and you can grab the app now directly from theWindows Phone Store.

While Path doesn’t have an announcement regarding the release, the app’s description emphasizes that this is the same experience Path’s users have come to expect on other platforms: complete control over what you share and who you share it with. Best of all, it’s ad-free.

Update at 12:05PM EST: Path has now posted an official announcement regarding the beta launch, noting that “Windows Phone 8 has been our most requested platform.” It also noted the app was built in collaboration with a joint team from Nokia and Microsoft.

path windows phone beta Path launches for Windows Phone as a public beta

The beta app has the following features:

  • Your personal life – Journal your thoughts, your sleep, and your check-ins.
  • Beautiful sharing – Capture photos and videos, and apply some of the best filters and editing tools to your photos.
  • Feel the love – Friends and family can react with smiles, laughs, gasps, loves, comments and more.
  • Cross-posting – Be everywhere you want to be by posting any Path moment to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.
  • Private Sharing – Choose to share any Path moment privately with one or more friends.
  • Create an Inner Circle by selecting a group of friends to easily share moments with. Filter your feed to see only moments from your Inner Circle. And change your settings to only receive notifications from your Inner Circle.

We can thus expect that the first stable release will include at least the above. Path says future versions of the app will include media moments (movies, books & music), the Shop, and Messaging.

The fact Path was coming to Windows Phone was first confirmed back in July. The announcement was made during the Lumia 1020 event in New York, where Vine, Flipboard, and Hipstamatic all revealed they were doing the same.

Vine and Hipstamatic have since arrived (not to mention Instagram), but Flipboard is still on its way, and now Path is halfway there. Until now, Path has only been available as a private beta.

Unfortunately, there’s still no news regarding when Path plans to have a stable release ready for Windows Phone. We’ve contacted the company and will update this post if we learn more.

full story: http://thenextweb.com/apps/2014/01/17/path-launches-windows-phone-public-beta/#!sFTxC

Viddme Brings Anonymous Video Sharing To Web, iPhone & Android

by  (@sarahintampa)

Following the backlash against YouTube’s merging with Google+ for identity, authentication and, most recently,commenting, there’s been a renewed interest in a sort of anonymous video hosting service – something like an “Imgur for video,” for instance. It’s an idea that’s been tried before, but sometimes having good timing helps. That may be the case withViddme, a new video sharing service making the rounds on Reddit, which has seen 140,000 uniques in the one month it’s been live.

The service is one of three projects created by Bit Kitchen, a product lab founded by Alex Benzer, previously founder and CEO at L.A.-based SocialEngine, and Warren Shaeffer, previously COO at SocialEngine, alongside two of SocialEngine’s top engineers.

SocialEngine, a TechStars Boulder 2011 grad that helps businesses build their own social networks, was acquired in December by social media agency Room 214, Benzer tells us. (The acquisition hadn’t been publicly announced until now, as it turns out.) The six-year old, largely bootstrapped company had been profitable for some time, Benzer notes, but they decided to sell because Room 214 had a lot of enterprise customers who could take advantage of the service. Plus, it would allow him and Shaeffer to work on other things. Terms of the deal, mostly cash, are not being disclosed, but the exit gave Benzer and Shaeffer “a nice runway” to work on their new ideas at Bit Kitchen.

At Bit Kitchen, the team has also launched an anonymous group chatting experiment called Masked, and a “digital gratitude journal” called Thankaday, but Viddme is currently their main focus.

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“We’ve been in building mode for the last month or two, and kind of putting these [three services] out there and seeing what the organic response is, says Benzer. “With Viddme, we’ve been exposing it to Reddit, because I think that it’s really useful for Reddit users, especially as early adopters.” He says that some Reddit users have already messaged him asking if they can help work on Viddme, too.

Viddme, of course, is inspired by Imgur, a service that developed a brand around being a place to anonymously share photos. But Imgur has yet to take the leap into video, despite the demand. “Imgur’s DNA is photos – it’s in their name. They’ve had four years to think about videos, and they haven’t done it,” says Benzer.

With the new service, now available on the web, iOS and Android, you can drag-and-drop videos to upload them, or, on mobile, upload videos from your smartphone or tablet in just a few taps. The idea is to allow you to share your videos quickly, without having to create an account. So far, it’s been used for lightweight sharing of video, like one of a kid taking their first steps, as well as for things where anonymity is the main draw, like the tutorial on how to exploit a server.

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After the video is uploaded, you can share it to social networks, post to Reddit, or just grab a link which you can share elsewhere as you choose.

Key to Viddme’s value proposition is that you’ll never be forced to register, though on mobile the company will be able to associate a device with the videos you upload, so you could later quickly pull your videos down, if you chose to do so. They may also later introduce an optional user account feature for those who do want a way to better manage their uploads across devices, but this would not have to be associated with your “real name,” as with Google+/YouTube.

viddme-iphoneCurrently, there aren’t a whole lot of restrictions on video content or length, besides a promise that they’ll “obey the law,” and use their best judgement. (So, yes, there’s going to be some NSFW stuff on there, be warned.)

Like Imgur, Viddme’s potential business model could also one day involve monetization through pro accounts, advertising, or enterprise deals, but for now, the service is free while Bit Kitchen tests the waters.

Benzer says there’s already some investor interest in L.A. for Viddme, and while they have a “significant” runway thanks to SocialEngine’s sale, they’re considering raising in order to speed things up. “We’ve received some offers already, and we’re considering them more so for the network value, and less for the financial value,” he says. “We’re definitely talking about it right now.”

You can try out Viddme yourself, from here.

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/17/viddme-brings-anonymous-video-sharing-to-web-iphone-android/

Korean report: LG G3 to launch in May, to pack a QHD display?

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According to sources in the Korean media, the flagship LG G3 smartphone will be released sooner than you may have expect- pencil May 17th into your diary LG fans.

The latest news from Korea also reveals a new important detail about the LG G3, the inclusion of a QHD display. QHD is a massive resolution of 1440×2560, that’s four times as many pixels as a 720p display, matching something you might find in a large PC monitor. It seems like overkill for a device that’s speculated to be sized at 5.5 inches, especially when you compare it with the fantastic 1080p screen in the 5.2 inch LG G2. Even so, a QHD G3 seems quite likely, the LG G Pro 2 is also expected to be heading our way a little sooner, possibly as early as February, with an equally high display resolution.

Interestingly, a May release shortens the refresh cycle for LG’s flagship smartphones, the G2 was only released in September of last year. This is probably an attempt to avoid being caught in the dust trail of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S5, which is also rumoured to be sporting a QHD display and could be heading our way anytime around April or May.

We should be able to confirm, or deny, these details during February’s MWC, where LG is expected to officially announce the G3 alongside some new wearable technology.

full story: http://www.androidauthority.com/lg-g3-qhd-display-336512/

2014 could be the year web browsers replace Photoshop

By Nick Stockton

What if this looked even better on-screen? Reuters/Andrew Winning

The language that controls the web’s style—CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets—could be getting a new set of features that will make it the new gold standard for graphic design. These features, collectively known as blending modes, are currently under consideration by the World Wide Web Consortium, the group with the largest influence over standardizing features in your browser. If approved, blending modes will let web developers tinker with colors, tones and textures on the web in the same way they can with graphics and image files on programs like Photoshop.

Blending modes control nuances like brightness, hue, contrast and transparency. This might seem of interest only to design wonks, but blending modes are the secret sauce behind the mood of digital photography and film, and would have a big impact on how everyone experiences the web.

For developers, the problem with desktop graphic design programs like Adobe Photoshop is that their images have to be converted from a feature-rich proprietary format to something flatter, with less colors (like a JPEG) that the web can host. This slows developers down and limits what they can create on the web.

By contrast, web-native blending would work with the rest of the web’s bells and whistles. Applied to a web page, blending modes affect the overall mood and feel, similar to how Instagram filters (which are preset combinations of blending modes) can brighten up your selfie or add gravitas to your group photo. This gallery shows extreme examples of what blending modes can do, but most designers use them to create more subtle effects.

Since the web pages are more like collages than seamless images, web designers would be able to fine tune the color blends of individual features (like text, photos, or data visualizations). What’s more, blending modes could control your browsing experience in real time, with subtle or dramatic mood shifts depending on where you scroll, point your mouse, or otherwise interact with the page. This would enhance digital storytelling, beyond what the New York Times has shown with their new experiments in long form (that don’t use blending modes. Yet).

Hardcore developers will point out that blending modes already exist on the internet in the form of the HTML canvas tag. But the inner workings of the canvas tag are clunky, and ill-suited for interactivity.

Blending modes are still under review by the W3C’s working group in charge of CSS standards. But their potential is so powerful that even Photoshop’s publisher, Adobe, wants them added to the web. Moving its business from the desktop to the cloud could be lucrative, as mapping company ESRI proved with itsshift to web-native programs.

The only downside is that graphic designers who use Photoshop for designing in print will have to learn some basic coding if they want to follow their profession’s migration to the web. However, this shouldn’t be overly daunting to anyone who has mastered Adobe’s baffling array of tools and menus.

Animation brings classical paintings to stunning life

Artist and animator Rino Stefano Tagliafierro uses CGI techniques to create an animated love letter to classical art.

(Credit: Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET)

Beauty, asserts Italian artist and animator Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, is fleeting. And although the art of yesteryear certainly captures it, it’s of moments frozen in time, lacking the warmth and humanity of movement.

In his short film “Beauty,” Tagliafierro has taken more than 100 classical paintings, from landscape to romantic to Pre-Raphaelite, and applied his experience in digital animation to bring them to life.

“In this interpretation by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, this beauty is brought back to the expressive force of gestures that he springs from the immobility of canvas, animating a sentiment lost to the fixedness [of] masterpieces,” Giuliano Corti wrote in the piece’s manifesto.

Animation of “Portrait of a Young Woman,” c. 1665-67, Johannes Vermeer, oil on canvas.
(Credit: Rino Stefano Tagliafierro)

“It’s as though these images which the history of art has consigned to us as frozen movement can today come back to life thanks to the fire of digital invention…They are, from the inception of a romantic sunrise in which big black birds fly to the final sunset beyond gothic ruins that complete the piece, a work of fleeting time.”

To supplement the video (which, it ought to be stated, is rather NSFW, so bear that in mind before clicking “play” during your lunch break; we recommend you save it to watch at home), Tagliafierro has also compiled a massive repository of GIFs for most of the animations. You can check it out here.

(Source: Crave Australia)

full story: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57617395-1/animation-brings-classical-paintings-to-stunning-life/

Facebook Is Still Copying Twitter—This Time With Its ‘Trending’ Feature

Maybe a character-length limit is next.

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Today Facebook announced “Trending,” a new feature that puts a list of trending topics in the top right corner of the News Feed. The company began testing this featurelast fall, and is now rolling it out to a larger audience.

Users in the U.S., UK, India and Australia will begin to see the list of trending topics accompanied by a brief explanation of why they are trending. You can then select any headline to see on-topic posts from people or pages, and those you are connected with will rank higher in the feed.

You may already be familiar with the trending topic feature on Twitter. Trending topics appear as links to the left of Twitter timelines on desktop and under the “Discover” tab on mobile, and when clicked, users can view a timeline of tweets containing the trending word or phrase.

Similar to Twitter, Facebook’s trends are reflective of what’s being talked about on the service and are constantly updating. “Trending” is only available on desktop for now.

This update is the latest in a slew of Twitter features Facebook has implemented in the past. The social network also recently introduced hashtags and embeddable posts, two favored features on Twitter.

Apple Reportedly Targeting Late Q3 2014 for 12.9-Inch ‘iPad Pro’ Launch

by Kelly Hodgkins

As outlined in our feature highlighting Apple’s possible product plans for 2014, a number of rumors have suggested Apple may be working on a 12.9-inch iPad model that could launch later this year. The company is allegedly accelerating development on this device in response to Samsung’s introduction of two competing 12.2-inch tablet models, with market sources cited by Digitimes claiming that Apple is now prepping the so-called “iPad Pro” for a late Q3 2014 launch at the earliest.

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Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad next to iPad Air and iPad mini

The claim that Apple’s timeline is motivated by a perceived need to match Samsung’s recent introductions seems doubtful given that Apple has routinely taken its time coming to market even in the face of competitors rushing to beat Apple to its own rumored products, but at a minimum the claimed launch target offers one more data point for those trying to predict a release. Some sources have predicted a launch as soon as early this year but such a timeline seems very unlikely given the absence of part leaks and other substantiating evidence.

Earlier reports suggested the 12.9-inch iPad Pro could be a hybrid device that would appeal to enterprise customers looking for a machine that bridges the gap between tablet and notebook. Based on display panels currently under development in the supply chain, research firm DisplaySearch believes that the iPad Pro could ship with a 12.9-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 and 265 ppi.

Besides the iPad Pro, Digitimes‘ sources unsurprisingly also claim Apple is working on new 7.9-inch and 9.7-inch models to replace the current Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. These models will likely debut in Q3 2014, keeping with Apple’s current late fall release schedule for the iPad. Demand for the iPad is expected to be strong again in 2014 with the company selling between 80 and 90 million units over the course of the year.

full story: http://www.macrumors.com/2014/01/17/q3-2014-ipad-pro-launch/