Tag Archives: Technology

Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $16 Billion

In major tech news today, Facebook went ahead and purchased WhatsApp for $16 billion ($12 billion in stock / $4 billion in cash) What. I’ve never used the app, myself, but from what I’ve heard from my coworkers – it seems to be an app that people absolutely love. It breaks down the barriers of texting internationally and simply makes it easier to communicate with those abroad.

WhatsApp currently has 450 million monthly active users. Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly said on the Feb. 19 conference call that he believes WhatsApp will quickly grow to 1 billion monthly active users.

When the acquisition was announced, it was reported that WhatsApp currently had 32 engineers on their team and altogether somewhere around 50 that will be joining Facebook shortly. I can’t even fathom that amount of money. Facebook is incredibly powerful and the string of news that is trailing them right now is exciting to hear.

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Introducing: Facebook Paper

This looks so interesting to me. I’m really looking forward to checking it out when it’s released.

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A Collection Part 39

Would you believe that it has already been 4 months since our last “A Collection Part” post? I can already hear Veronica’s voice in the back of my head saying, “I can.” Every time I speak to the girl, she’s always asking for another one. Little does she know, constructing these take forever! Good news though, I’ve already started building Part 40 so hopefully we won’t have to wait as long for the next one, but if she had it her way, it would be every week.

Making this post this time around was quite refreshing to me. Veronica once asked me how I choose the pictures that I do for this post and I don’t know if I was ever able to give a great answer. I probably just said that I chose the pictures I liked, but I’d like to elaborate on that a little bit. I used to do a bit of photography back in high school and in the early days of college, I brought my camera with me everywhere I went. I love that these photos are being taken in ways that I never thought of before. They are various shots that spark something in me, but I have no idea what it is and because I can’t explain it or put it into words of some sort, I love it. Maybe that’s not a better explanation than before, but it makes sense to me!

Enjoy!

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Siri Gets Sassy

With all of the buzz surrounding the new Spike Jonze film “Her,” it seems like Siri is getting a little bit jealous! In the film, a lonely writer played by actor Joaquin Phoenix begins to develop strong feelings towards his operating systems named “Samantha” voiced by actress Scarlett Johansson. While none of us actually have our own “Samantha’s” I’d say that Siri is a close second. In the photo above, it looks like Siri is throwing some shade at her rival.

Is anyone else going to see this film?! I can’t wait to catch it next weekend!

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Favorites of 2013

Favorite Style Icon: Alexa Chung

This should really come as no surprise. Since Alexa Chung came into my life, I have always been a fan of her outfit choices. I noticed last year, I selected Taylor Swift, but really – Alexa blew her and everyone else out of the water in 2013. With her new book that we are dying to read and collections of hers popping up all over the place, we are looking forward to what she’ll be bringing to the table in 2014.

Runner up: Kiernan Shipka

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No Internet Week

I really enjoyed watching this documentary on my lazy Sunday today. It’s only 13 minutes, but as we’re living in a time period currently where so many people have hard time disconnecting, it’s something I can relate to. All of my work is online. I spend 80% of my day doing emails at work and when I get home, I run this blog and I definitely can’t post from paper and pen. I think the most I’ve ever gone without the internet was a day or two at the most. Even when I was traveling in Japan, I had access to internet through my hotel. It’s pretty amazing to see these 5 individuals give it up especially since their professions are all about it and I realized that the struggles they face are ones that I would face if put in the same situation. The fear of missing out on something is HUGE. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but I blame it on feeds. I am glued to the feeds on my social network and even if the blogs I read don’t have one, I will rewind all the way back to the last post I read for fear of missing out on content that I could use as inspiration to write a blog post here.

It’s a hard cycle, man. It was an informative doc though so if you have some time to spare, I recommend watching it.

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Instagram Unveils In-App Private Messaging

Snapchat has something to worry about today because Instagram is now allowing users to send private messages within the app with their new feature called “Instagram Direct.” You will be able to send 1:1 pictures, videos, and text. The feature is currently available for iPhone and Android with no word yet on a release date  for the Windows Phone. Womp womp.

Users can only send private messages to people who follow them. If a user attempts to send a private message to someone who doesn’t follow them that person can then decide whether or not they want to see the message. Private messages can be sent to one or many users.

High quality images with filters sent via Instagram over Snapchat? Count me in.

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San Francisco Has the Most Attractive Residents

According to Travel + Leisure, San Francisco has the most attractive residents in the U.S. Whoop! How exciting. I thought the number one choice actually would have been Los Angeles so I am only slightly surprised that we took the top spot. While San Francisco is full of pretty people, we definitely don’t top the charts for being the most affordable city to live in landing at #33. We have some work to do y’all. So we don’t win in being cheap, but we are also the most gay-friendly, most intelligent, most tech-savvy (HOBviously) and are home to the best wine bars.

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EatWith

photo cred | All Things D

It’s an extremely exciting time period that we are all witnessing right now. When living in Seattle, I was interested in tech on such a high level and now that I’m here living and working in the heart of it, my interests have heightened even more. I don’t think my parents ever thought that they would have a chance to witness a time when startups would become so focused on the sharing community, but here it is. It was a feeling that I experienced and treasured in college, but now that the community is spanning across the country and across the world through technology, it is startling to see it take over in ways that people never thought possible. Airbnb, Lyft, to list a few and now EatWith – a startup that came from Israel that I’m itching to talk about. While traveling, EatWith acts as a platform that allows you to eat with local families for a more unique experience and promote communication and interpersonal interaction. The service recently came to the United States back in July and kicked off with New York hoping to add cities like Miami and San Francisco soon.

How exactly does it work?

If you’re interested in hosting, an EatWith representative will swing by to meet with you, check out your digs and judge your cooking. If deemed worthy, you then set up a profile and advertise your own brunches, lunches and dinner parties, often with themes (such as a Cinco de Mayo brunch, a contemporary Thai-Brazilian feast, or a “crazy dinner of borscht and flautas”). Hosts also set a suggested donation per attendee.

If you’re a guest seeking a slice of local life, you can search the website by location and apply for a seat at a gathering nearby. The host will assess your online profile, start a dialogue with you and decide whether to accept you as a guest.

Meals will typically range from $25-$50 per guest with EatWith taking 15% of each transaction. All Things D calls it the “Airbnb for meals.”

I actually just checked out the website myself and would find myself using it (if it came to San Francisco) for potential dinner parties. Has anyone used it or read any reviews yet?

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**Update 12/8 – They are actually already in San Francisco too!

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Knock (to unlock) App

Leave it to my co-workers to teach me something new everyday. This app has been out since late October, but the trailer for it was just too good and blogworthy. If you’re tired of having to continuously type in your password, all you have to do is install the Knock app. Knock twice on your iPhone and your Mac unlocks. I’ve heard that it doesn’t work every time and it might be a little bit silly if you are constantly knocking on your phone and it doesn’t unlock, but we are the generation of laziness so… YOLO?

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iPad Art: Morgan Freeman

Can you believe that Kyle Lambert did this portrait by finger painting on his iPad? Why are people so talented.

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Coin

 

One of the best perks of working at a start-up is that when another start-up gets announced, no one ever misses a beat. The topic at lunch today was all about Coin – a new device that will connect all of your cards into one. This can include your credit, debit, gift, and membership cards. You could probably still carry a wallet with you, but you may not even need it. Technology is cool, isn’t it? Pre-orders are starting now with cards arriving in Summer 2014. Click here to learn more.

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Flipboard Enables Shopping – Just In Time For The Holidays

photo cred | Glamchic

Silicon Valley start-up, Flipboard, announced yesterday a new feature for their app that will let users shop through retail catalogs and make purchases for items they view. Like Pinterest, users will now be able to shop through the app as well as catch up on all of their news.

To kick off the tablet’s shopping extravaganza, Banana Republic, eBay, ModCloth, Fab, Levi’s and Birchbox have already made their offerings available for purchase through Flipboard. However, this is far from a simple e-commerce situation. In the same way users currently Pin items using a bookmarklet on Pinterest,  they can now Flip items into their own customizable magazine.

It’s amazing how technology has changed the way we shop. Most people will never have to step foot into a mall or a retail store around the holidays ever again because of everything we have access to. Will Flipboard succeed with this new feature? It’s very likely!

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Electronics Can Stay “On” During Flights

It was announced this morning that the FAA has finally given permission to passengers to use their personal electronics throughout the duration of their flight. I didn’t always understand why I had to shut off my phone at the beginning and end of my flight, but I did it because it was just a rule and I didn’t think to question it. I will say, however, that my pet peeve with it was having to shut it off right in the middle of my songs. Now I’m glad to learn that I just don’t have to.

The decision couldn’t come soon enough.The ill-conceived electronics ban started back in 1991 when both the FCC and the FAA restricted airplane cellphone use, largely because no one actually knew what a cellphone was, much less how they actually worked. Better safe than sorry. A year later, though, they ran actual tests to see if there there was any valid argument for their blind terror. Surprise! There wasn’t.

To read more on this story, click here.

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Blogshop in Seattle

Bloggers residing in Seattle – if you haven’t taken the opportunity to attend a Blogshop course by DesignLoveFest’s Bri Emery, now is the time to do so. I’ve been wanting to take this course for such a long time, but never could because I didn’t own a Mac. Now that I do, I’m definitely saving up so that I can in the future hopefully in San Francisco.

Bri will be hosting her class November 12-13th. Each blogshop is kind of considered a Photoshop boot camp. By the end of the sessions, you’ll be a Photoshop pro and will be able to transfer your creative ideas onto your own personal blog. Every photo session I’ve seen of Blogshop has looked like so much fun! Not only is lunch provided both days, but you’ll also receive a goodie bag of things from Bri’s favorite sponsors.

To read the full details on the course, click here.

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