Jan 20


Google Translate

photo credit: Mashable

Some say that it’s a small world, and thanks to our advancements in technology, the world may have just gotten a little smaller. On January 14th Google released its’ update for the Google Translate app which now includes a radical new feature… translating spoken word! Now, you can speak into your phone and the app will translate and speak back your words in another language of your choice. This has the potential to make traveling and communicating abroad much easier, because no one has the time to play charades with strangers!

Another cool feature of this update includes Word Lens,which allows you hold up your camera to text and have it automatically translated. However, according to Mashable, this only works for English,French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, other languages will still require you to actually snap the picture. Luckily, an internet connection isn’t needed to use Word Lens, so translating text can be done anywhere. These updates are available to both IOS and Android users, so go forth and translate.

Are you excited to start using this new update?

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Aug 29


Apple Preview

Author: jennamarks

This September, a new app is going to make you feel like it’s your payday! The new iPhone 6 is supposedly debuting a new payment platform based on near field communication.  Near field communication “is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity” (Mashable).

This near field communication will not only provide iPhone users the ability to store coupons and credit card information on the phone, but also “present and anticipated applications include contact-less transactions, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi” (Mashable). The main goal of this new payment platform is to be able to replace a person’s wallet with just a simple device on the iPhone.  Instead of carrying around multiple credit cards in a wallet in your purse or back pocket, all you need to do when making a payment is to swipe your phone, how crazy!

The rumors have consisted of many people with mixed emotions about this new payment method.  The new iPhone is said to premiere on September 9th and that is exactly when the rumors will be put to rest! Excited to see how this new iPhone will turn out!

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Aug 12


Earlier this year on April 9th, Facebook announced it would be moving its messages completely out of the app and into the standalone messenger app, thus forcing users to download the app in order to send and receive messages.

Over this past weekend, the changes began to ramp up speed when messages started disappearing from the Facebook app, making the only way to access your messages on mobile be through the Messenger app.

Today, Mashable published an article about the newest development in the Facebook Messenger app discussion: being able to retain your messages on the Facebook app without having to download the separate Messenger app. Turns out, if you simply start the download of the Messenger app but stop it before it’s installed, your messages will show up back in the main Facebook app.

While I have been an avid user of the Facebook Messenger app for as long as I have had an iPhone, I can understand the qualms users have over downloading the Messenger app, as well as the desire to keep everything into one app. Privacy issues remain rampant, and although this Huffington Post article lays out most of the questions and answers, users still have their doubts regarding security, especially now that they are being forced to download the separate app. While it doesn’t seem like there is any other choice at this point other than to download the Messenger app, this loophole is probably the last resort. Personally, I could see this new change coming, as Facebook’s claims over the past few years about the quality of the app versus in-app messaging (it is indeed faster) seemed to somewhat allude to this change. All in all, Facebook’s control over our lives does seem at times a bit forceful, but I don’t see any need to panic over privacy or security because of this requirement. Yet.

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Jun 05



Image taken from Mashable

Facebook Pages are getting a redesign, yet again. The timeline on Facebook pages will now be a single column, much similar to the look of your general news feed on Facebook.

This redesign comes rather close to the Twitter redesign that has been flooding profiles within the past couple months. The new Twitter design also features a single column feed, with larger text/images.

The Facebook Pages Timeline now has a simpler design, less grid like and as Mashable states, “blurs the line between a personal account and a Pages account, which makes sense” (Mashable).

The new design also allows users to move sections around, being open to customization. And remember those nice little Custom Tab designs you had at the bottom of your cover photo? They’ve now moved to the left sidebar, which adds to the simple, more stripped down design that Facebook seems to be pushing towards.

What do you think? Is the grid like style or single column the way to go? Does it make a difference for Facebook? Let us know in the comments below!

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May 28


Flickr rolled out some new features and a hot new design that offers higher resolution, a news feed, and more.

Landing on the home page, you’ll already notice the brand new design, bigger images, and crisper resolutions. Flickr is giving all its users 1 terabyte (yes terabyte) of space. This makes way for bigger and better images.




Mashable explains that the “news feed” feature is a bit similar to the Instagram news feed. To see this feature in full, check out their video that takes you through the new Flickr here.

Sharing is now also easier on Flickr. Once you post, you can easily share to Facebook. Twitter, Tumblr and more.

Overall, the new design is much more progressive in the digital/social media realm and the endless amount of space and higher resolutions are sure to make all Flickr users happy.

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Mar 08


Hold on to your hats everybody, Facebook is revolutionizing the newsfeed with the biggest facelift it’s endured since I was 19. (2009 if you must know)  Yep, as of today Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook will redesign the holy grail of social media, the newsfeed.  The redesign that will soon infiltrate your own personal blue screen is adapting with the changing times of Internet sharing.  So what does that exactly entail? I will tell you.  And I will also tell you what I think about it, because let’s face it, I just want to be one of the cool kids.

One of the main changes, as pointed out in this Gizmodo Article is a much greater focus on visual/rich media than ever before.



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Feb 21


By now I’m sure the majority of you are all too familiar with the Harlem Shake dance meme that has overtaken Gangnam Style as the latest viral sensation to hit the web.
I’ll admit, I too am guilty of spending a shameful amount of time watching these videos online…

While the Harlem Shake may have been burning through it’s 15 minutes mercilessly, there’s no denying that it marks one of the most popular and pervasive memes of 2013. Within just a span of a few weeks, it already boasts well over 170 million views from 40,000 different YouTube channels.

Between punching inflatable giraffes and underwater tabletop dancing, it’s hard to choose which Harlem Shake videos are the most creative. Thankfully, Mashable has compiled a comprehensive list of must-sees for viewers. Check it out here.

And for those of you hoping this meme couldn’t fade into obscurity any sooner, I’ve got bad news for you. A variation of the Harlem Shake, or rather, “Harlem Fake” has made its way to the Internet—but this time, viewers are greeted with a twist once the bass kicks in.

Here are a few clips of funny Harlem fake-outs:

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Feb 16


This is a guest editor reply to the Mashable Article: Why Social Media Is Bringing Back Our Grandparents’ Values [OP-ED]

On January 4 at 9:46 p.m., I posted this message to Facebook:

“Vegas tomorrow. Who’s in?”

I was preparing for my drive/pilgrimage to Las Vegas for CES. And, as one does, I alerted 500 of my closest Facebook friends of this fact. I didn’t even think much of it.

The next morning, before I settled into the long drive, I stopped in to my local coffee shop. Ashley, who works there and knows my kids’ names, asked, “Your usual?” And then added, “Heading off to Vegas, huh?” She’d seen my status update.

Some may find this intimacy alarming. I found it oddly comforting. I bet this is what it was like for my grandparents, in a time when communities were close-knit; when someone knew if you were going on a trip or noticed if you didn’t show up somewhere. But this is just one of many parallels between our behaviors today and those of our grandparents. Here are a few more ways I think that social media has bridged these generations, culturally speaking…. [Read Full Article]
- By Josh Rose

A Reply:

I wish I could accept this analogy to his grandparents experience, but I can’t.  It doesn’t work for the very reason he says it does.

Technology and social media have changed everything—in many ways for the better, and in a few ways for the worse. 

Modern life is no longer a community of caring individuals as it was 2-3 generations ago.  We delude ourselves that our tweets and Facebook status updates puts us “in greater touch” with those who really care about us, but I don’t think it is the same thing as human contact and never will be.  I’m certain it fills a need and a function, otherwise why would 500 million have Facebook accounts (I am not one of them). 

I don’t believe in a Norman Rockwell version of America or the World, and I don’t necessarily think life was better in 1930.  People were confined to roles and limited by their color, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.  Life was harder and clearly more challenging.  But in some ways it was better.  Neighbors cared about each other.  Family included grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins all living within a few miles, a few blocks or next door.  People left their homes unlocked and room would be made at the dinner table for a hungry stranger.

Social media fulfills a need.  It informs; it shares; it even enlightens from time to time.  But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that it brings us closer together in ways our grandparents would understand.

Darryl Tell

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