Flash Sale App Tophatter Adds Android Version, Brings Its Auctions To Canada

Tophatter

Tophatter, a flash sales site that sells apparel, makeup and electronics through 90-second auctions, released its Android app today and announced its first international expansion. The app is now available in Canada and plans to go into the UK and Ireland within the next few weeks. South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are the next markets in the startup’s sights.

Created by the team behind Blippy, a now-defunct platform that let people show off their purchases, Palo Alto, Ca.-based Tophatter went live six months ago and currently has about 1.5 million users. The company says that since the launch of its iOS app in April, its sales have increased from $200,000 per month to more than $3 million per month. It expects to hit $6 million in sales by next summer, fueled by its new Android app.

Tophatter says its sellers focus on “artisan and handmade goods,” as well as brands like Coach, Betsey Johnson, Estee Lauder, Urban Decay, Clinique, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Beats by Dre, Kindle and iPhone. It competes with other flash sales apps such as Rue La La, Gilt and Haute Look. As shoppers look for the retail apps that will offer them the most convenient shopping experience and best prices during the holiday shopping rush, Tophatter will also have to compete with e-commerce companies such as eBay and Amazon.com.

Spokesman Andrew Still-Baxter says that Tophatter differentiates by acting as a more interactive alternative to its competitors. Steps the company taken to ensure that users are engaged is controlling supply and demand so that each auction “room” on the app is always filled with people.

“You can buy ‘stuff’ anywhere, but people turn to Tophatter for a fun and social experience. The result is that Tophatter’s users treat the app more like a game, or a social network, than a commerce site,” he says. “The metrics show them hanging out, checking in frequently, and communicating with other users.”

More: http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/08/tophatter-android/

Facebook Adds Reminders For Upcoming Tv Show Airings To Its Android App

Screenshot (10-14am, Nov 07, 2013)

Facebook is now a TV guide. Or, at least, if you’re using its Android app, you can now set reminders for upcoming episodes of TV shows in the U.S., on participating TV show Facebook Pages. A new version of the Android app rolls out these reminders, which seems a very obvious attempt to get members of its network to engage with and discuss broadcast TV content on Facebook as it’s happening in real-time.

If you’re thinking that sounds familiar, you’d be right: Twitter has been aggressive in capitalizing on its role as a companion for live broadcast television. It’s partnering direct with TV content providers for things like a trending TV content box, a relationship with broadcasters that allows users to see snippets of live TV directly in their stream, and a Comcast partnership that triggers DVR and other activity.

Twitter, which has priced its IPO and is listing publicly on the NYSE today, makes no secret of its television and live broadcast ambitions – Deb Roy, who came to Twitter through the acquisition of Bluefin Labs, argues that Twitter has an opportunity to become the social glue that binds disparate viewers around televised and other content, a connection which was lost when we started engaging in more time-shifted viewing.

Facebook has been building TV partnerships, too. It recently enabled real-time conversation analysis for Dancing With The Stars, providing stats and information which was broadcast live on air, and it’s running Q&A’s with celebrities and shows, as well as employing hashtags and trending topics to, like Twitter, identify the content people on its network are most interested in. This new reminders feature seems to be another element in its overarching media strategy.

A reminder of a live broadcast from Facebook does one thing: calls your attention to the social network exactly when Facebook wants you to be using it. Twitter doesn’t yet have anything that quite so blatantly invites users to participate in real-time online discussion specifically and automatically, but it also arguably doesn’t need that because of the tendency of its users to do that organically, anyway.

Facebook wants to be a media property, and it wants to be real-time. It’s taking steps in that direction, but it’s also hard to say what its chances are of competing with Twitter on that scale. In either case, watching how each evolves as they pursue that goal will prove interesting, as will seeing how users react to their shifting identities.

More: http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/07/facebook-app-tv-show-reminders/

Tesla Officially Opens West Coast Supercharger Circuit, Covering San Diego To Vancouver

tesla-s-charging

Tesla’s West Coast Supercharger Corridor opened today, making it possible for owners of the Model S to travel free between San Diego and Vancouver, using Highway 101 and Interstate 5. This makes a Supercharger reachable within 200 miles to over 99 percent of Californians and 87 percent of those in Oregon and Washington.

A lot of attention has been paid to Tesla’s efforts to make a coast-to-coast trip in one of its vehicles a reality, via Superchargers and other charging stations, but blanketing the West Coast means that Tesla S owners can now travel from essentially the Mexican border to within the Canadian one without paying any money to fill their cars, and with a minimal amount of charging time required. Superchargers can charge a Tesla S to a capacity worth around 200 miles of driving distance in just 30 minutes, and the stations are positioned near restaurants and shopping centers to give you something to do while your car powers up.

To promote the new corridor, Tesla is having two Model S vehicles make the trip from San Diego to Vancouver, and they’ll be pushing updates to their various social media properties along the way. Spoiler alert: those cars are definitely going to make it without incident.

Supercharger rollout continues globally, with Tesla announcing plans in September to cover 100 percent of the population of Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg, and 90 percent of the population in England, Wales, and Sweden with a station within 320 kms by the end of 2014. Getting past that basic excuse of “I can’t buy one, there’s nowhere to charge” is clearly a huge part of the company’s global rollout strategy, which is why each of these Supercharger network expansions is a big win for Tesla and for founder Elon Musk.

More: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/30/tesla-officially-opens-west-coast-supercharger-circuit-covering-san-diego-to-vancouver/

Venezuela Bloquea Sitios Web De Cotización De Divisas

El presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, anunció el bloqueo de siete sitios web con cotizaciones del dólar y el euro fuera de las tasas oficiales fijadas por el gobierno para el control estatal de las divisas.

El bloqueo fue ejecutado por “expertos del Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología”, afirmó el mandatario en una cadena nacional de radio y televisión. Venezuela controla el valor de la divisa desde 2003, fijada actualmente en 6,30 bolívares por dólar. En el mercado negro, sin embargo, el dólar es ocho veces más caro.

Según el gobernante, la especulación del dólar en el mercado negro ha repercutido en la inflación del país, que acumula un alza de 45,8% en los primeros 10 meses del año.

De acuerdo a Maduro, las páginas bloqueadas fueron creadas en Estados Unidos, ya que si sus responsables estuvieran en Venezuela “estarían presos”. Se trata de dollarparalelovenezuela.com, preciodolar.info, dolarparalelo.org, dolartoday.org, tucadivi.com, dolarparalelo.org y lechugaverde.biz.

El mandatario aseguró que todo esto es parte de una guerra económica declarada por Estados Unidos que busca “el colapso total” de la economía y la gobernabilidad del país.

Por otra parte, la Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel), organismo estatal, anunció que abrió un proceso contra las empresas proveedoras de Internet (ISP) por permitir la difusión del dólar paralelo. Básicamente se está pidiendo que los ISP filtren (censuren) internet para evitar que se publiquen cotizaciones del dólar. Los proveedores en cuestión son Digitel, Movistar, Inter, Cantv, Supercable, NetUno, Omnivision y la compañía de cables submarinos Level 3. ”La consecuencia de no cumplir con la medida (…) conlleva la revocatoria de la concesión” de los permisos de operación, advirtió.

Maduro además anunció la semana pasada la intervención militar de tiendas de electrodomésticos y electrónicos, acusadas de participar de la “guerra económica” y vender artículos con sobreprecio de hasta 1.200%. La medida busca que las tiendas vendan los artículos “a precio justo”.

Link: El Espectador





Este artículo, fue publicado originalmente aquí: http://www.fayerwayer.com/2013/11/venezuela-bloquea-sitios-web-de-cotizacion-de-divisas/

Flash Sale App Tophatter Adds Android Version, Brings Its Auctions To Canada

Tophatter

Tophatter, a flash sales site that sells apparel, makeup and electronics through 90-second auctions, released its Android app today and announced its first international expansion. The app is now available in Canada and plans to go into the UK and Ireland within the next few weeks. South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are the next markets in the startup’s sights.

Created by the team behind Blippy, a now-defunct platform that let people show off their purchases, Palo Alto, Ca.-based Tophatter went live six months ago and currently has about 1.5 million users. The company says that since the launch of its iOS app in April, its sales have increased from $200,000 per month to more than $3 million per month. It expects to hit $6 million in sales by next summer, fueled by its new Android app.

Tophatter says its sellers focus on “artisan and handmade goods,” as well as brands like Coach, Betsey Johnson, Estee Lauder, Urban Decay, Clinique, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Beats by Dre, Kindle and iPhone. It competes with other flash sales apps such as Rue La La, Gilt and Haute Look. As shoppers look for the retail apps that will offer them the most convenient shopping experience and best prices during the holiday shopping rush, Tophatter will also have to compete with e-commerce companies such as eBay and Amazon.com.

Spokesman Andrew Still-Baxter says that Tophatter differentiates by acting as a more interactive alternative to its competitors. Steps the company taken to ensure that users are engaged is controlling supply and demand so that each auction “room” on the app is always filled with people.

“You can buy ‘stuff’ anywhere, but people turn to Tophatter for a fun and social experience. The result is that Tophatter’s users treat the app more like a game, or a social network, than a commerce site,” he says. “The metrics show them hanging out, checking in frequently, and communicating with other users.”

Learn more here: http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/08/tophatter-android/

Over 5% Of Instagram Ad Views Have Led To Likes, Signaling Big Potential

Systrom Gigaom

Instagram ads are off to a strong start. CEO Kevin Systrom said about the early ads that “Over 5% of the impression led to Likes on these ads that we’ve run. That’s pretty tremendous considering most of the ads we see on the internet we ignore.”

At the GigaOm Roadmap conference Systrom also said many of the comments were people asking where they could buy the Michael Kors watch.

Instagram analytics company Nitrogram looked at the Kors ad yesterday and believes it was seen 6.15 million people and received over 218,000 Likes, as SocialFresh reported. That would imply 3.57% of views led to Likes of the photo, which isn’t far off Systrom’s stat.

In conversation with Om Malik, Systrom discussed that ads are just one more step in the transition of Instagram into a world-changing company.  ”We’re now at 150 million+ active users. [We've gone from a] cool startup in Silicon Valley into something that affects the mainstream” Systrom said. He also noted that over 55 million photos are shared to the service per day now.

Om asked whether the ads roll out was “working out”, as last month Instagram announced ads would come to the service, and the first ones appeared last week. Systrom explained “Are they making us hundreds of millions of dollars per day? No, but that wasn’t the goal. We announced we’d take it slow doing it the right way. We measure the ‘how it’s going’ by how the roll out is going and how we’re making this transition.”

Of course, that high Like rate might be due to novelty of some extent. That ad was a damn pretty photo of a watch too, and Instagram will have to keep the quality high for users not to feel like their feeds are being polluted. Ideally, ads would be better looking than the photos your friends share.

As for the longevity of his product, it’s parent company, and competitors, Systrom said “I don’t think there will be a Facebook replacement, or a Twitter replacement, or an Instgram replacement.” Instead he believes how people spend their time on their phone may just shift and be reallocated, rather than any of these services drying up and dying out completely.

What’s Next For Instagram? Events And  Search

Systrom was candid about what Instagram isn’t doing perfectly right now, and its opportunities to improve.

“How do we surface live events overseas? How do we tell you there’s a riot going on in London? How would we let you tune into the World Series? How would we let you tune into what’s going on right now, what interests you? How do you find the things on Instagram that will keep you coming back?” Systrom asked, foreshadowing this experience would be getting better.

“Today we have hashtags and hashtag search, and people and people search, but it’s hard to find [interesting things] without being good at searching for hashtags” Systrom explained. He went on to say his mom and some people don’t necessarily want to search via hashtags, or even understand how.

Perhaps what he’s hinting at is a more keyword-based search or even a Facebook Graph Search-style semantic search feature where you type in queries in common language to find photos.

One other area Instagram is interested in is meta data about photos, including the location where your photos were taken, and your proximity to other users when you took them. “Proximity and location are both opportunities” Systrom said. However, the service doesn’t just want to suddenly make every photo geo-tagged.

As I wrote last year, discovery by location could make Instagram users feel much more connected to the world around them. For now, it just shows a photo map of where your own shots were taken.

To conclude, Systrom addressed his belief that focus is critical in building a startup. ”When you’re building a product you can’t just ramble on. You need a central thesis… about what you’re trying to prove the benefit is to the consumer.” So while Facebook seems to want to be Twitter with public content, and Twitter seems to want to be Facebook with a rich visual feed, Instagram just wants to be Instagram.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/06/instagram-ad-likes/

Xentry Wants You To Reuse Your Old Smartphone As A Wi-fi Door Caller Display

xentry

If you’re anything like the average technology writer you’ll have a drawer full of old kit lying around the place, gathering dust. Well here’s what looks like a neat use for old smartphones that are still functional even if they’re no longer good enough to be your everyday device. Reusing tech kit so it gets a second life to extend its usefulness is obviously to be encouraged – and the plethora of sensors in the average smartphone mean there are plenty of options for use number 2.

U.S. startup, Xavage Technologies, has come up with one: it’s created a phone-housing-plus-app combo – which it’s calling Xentry – that turns an old iPhone or Galaxy S Fascinate into a door-mounted caller-display so you can see who’s at the door and communicate with them via the corresponding app on your own in play smartphone. The old phone is mounted on the inside of your front door, with a customised peephole attachment replacing an existing peephole lens, allowing the phone’s camera to spy on whoever’s outside.

The “smart door” system streams real-time video and audio over your home Wi-Fi network so no need to have a SIM in the door-mounted smartphone. Other features include the ability to disguise your voice when you respond to the caller at the door; door movement detection (using the phone’s gyroscope) so that you can set alerts if someone is trying to enter or exit the house; and a virtual receptionist feature to trigger a message when someone opens the door.

The app also lets you take still photos of the video of whoever is at the door, and supports zooming and exposure adjustment. Simultaneous connection to the door-mounted camera is also supported meaning multiple in-home smartphone owners can see who’s outside.

Xavage is looking to raise $200,000 via Indiegogo to fund production of the two Xentry models, one designed to house old iPhones (3GS/4/4S) and one for the Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate (chosen because it was a popular device in the U.S. market in 2010). The phone housing will be manufactured from either ABS or recycled ABS. The top housing may be aluminium in the shipping version of the product. Xavage added that it plans to expand the range to other “top selling smartphones”, and is working on a universal model for business applications that can be attached to glass surfaces, such as office doors.

Charging the Xentry sounds like it may be a bit of a chore. The housing is designed to incorporate the phone’s charging cable but Xavage adds: “Backers are expected to use their existing charging plug and USB cable while Xavage provides a 15 feet (3 meter) USB adaptor cable.”

So, in other words, you’re going to have to plug a charger cable into the device that’s mounted to your door for at least some of the time. Unless the phone can easily be removed from the housing for charging. Still, for a little inconvenience, you’re getting a low upfront cost video caller door display – and reusing your old phone to boot. The cost per Xentry looks to be around $55. The startup expects to be shipping its first batch in December, if it makes funding.

Update: Xavage said it’s looking at a couple of options to improve the charging scenario. “For the first Xentry model, our power solution is to have the unit connected to the wall outlet via a charging cable. This solution doesn’t impede the normal operation of the door. For next generations we are optimizing our software for power.  Additionally, we are looking at an extended battery or a retractable cable system inside the unit.”

It added that the current version of the app, which streams video only when a viewer is connected to the camera and viewing mode is selected, should support about two days of battery life.

More: http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/27/xentry/

Great Tricks And Tips On Using Your Ipad


Your new iPad will, undoubtedly, become your new best friend. You need to know how to fully put it to use, though. You can easily use this powerful tool when you have the know-how and facts you need. If you want to put your iPad to use as it is intended, you should read the article that follows below.



Make sure that you budget the amount that you spend on apps. Because your credit card is on file with the iTunes store, it is not hard to go overboard buying apps and then get a nasty credit card statement shock. So it is very important to keep track of what you spend.



You can reset your iPad if you see that it is frozen. To do this, you must hold the home and power buttons at the same time for a few seconds. The iPad will then reboot. To fix a frozen app, simply hold the home button one or two seconds.



If you are tired of being prompted to join various Wi-Fi networks, change your settings. Look for the option which gives you the choice of joining networks. Choose it and you won’t have to worry about so many notification.



Do you hate only being able to preview two lines of your new emails? If so, you can change this option. Go to Settings/Mail/Preview. Select the number of lines you’d like to see. This will allow you to see more of your message for quicker skimming.



Almost everyone finds it difficult to accurately type on a tablet’s keyboard. It is possible to have your iPad convert what you say into text. Push Home twice and then hit the microphone. When you’re done speaking, tap the Microphone again to turn your dictation into text.



Download the manual onto your iPad if you need it. Their products do not include a physical manual, but the downloadable version includes in-depth information regarding all applicable uses.



To add your Google Calendar to your iPad calendar app, select Mail, Contacts and Calendars. Hit Add An Account and hit Other. Hit Add CalDAv Account and punch in all of your Google information. Then you have to go from the settings app to the calendar app. Now, you should be ready.



Does the battery indicator on your iPad distract you? If, so you can turn it off. First enter the Settings menu. Then find General and next go to Usage. You can quickly turn on or off the battery display.



There is a feature that allows you to find a lost iPad. In Settings, you will find an option that says iCloud. Fill in your ID when prompted, which will log your system into the database. If you happen to lose your iPad simply go to iCloud.com



The information that you have gleaned from this article should help you to better understand how to use your iPad. It is a terrific device, is quite powerful and can be used for a wide array of things. Keep this advice in mind, and begin taking advantage of your iPad today.

Soil Iq Makes A Smart Probe For Your Garden

soiliq

Soil IQ is a company that’s bringing the “Internet of things” trend to urban and rural farming.

They’re building a probe that streams soil fertility and weather data back to a paired app. Founded by a Princeton grad and soil scientist who has worked with hundreds of Kenyan farmers to increase crop yields, Soil IQ’s mission is to help people to grow food more sustainably.

“The reality in this country is that most of our food is produced on factory farms,” said CEO Jason Aramburu. “They’re great for producing corn, soybeans and grains, but not so good for producing healthy food.”

In response, Soil IQ has built a wireless soil sensor for small gardens and farms to help regular people grow a healthier supply of fruits and vegetables. Their probe is powered by a solar panel so it can run indefinitely. They’re planning on retailing it for about $49 to both consumers and larger partners.

Then, not only are they targeting U.S. consumers, the company has a dual mission. They’re also working with one of their investors, Orange Telecom, to help deploy these probes to farmers in East Africa.

Aramburu previously started an organization called re:char where he worked with more than 1,300 Kenyan farmers to increase their yields.

But now he says he’s trying to focus on food production for the 100 million households in the U.S. So he shifted into building Soil IQ. The probe can track and stream soil nutrient content, pH, temperature, moisture and light data. They’ve built an analytics platform that makes recommendations to home gardeners about how to optimize seed selection, fertilization and watering.

It can work with either soil-based or hydroponics gardens and either food or medicinal crops. They’ve even rigged it to send SMS or Twitter alerts when plants need attention.

They also have a big ace in the pocket through a partnership with Yves Behar, the famed industrial designer behind FuseProject and chief creative officer behind Jawbone. He’ll help with fashioning Soil IQ’s app and product.

The business model has a number of different angles. Not only is there the hardware revenue, Soil IQ could also license out their dataset, assuming enough people use it to produce interesting data on which crops grow well in different environments. If they also build up enough of a consumer base, they could also earn affiliate revenue from promoting other products like organic fertilizer or seeds.

The company has raised about $200,000 from Orange and other angel investors.

Reference: http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/10/soil-iq/

Using Your Ipad For Your Home And Business


The iPad is a multi-function electronic appliance that can accomplish a variety of tasks. You’ve found out some uses for it, but you need some advice to get you to be a more advanced user. Your iPad can become your one stop shop for paying the bills, checking your Facebook, playing games, and much more. Continue reading for more information!



Soft reset your iPad if it freezes. To start, hold down your home and power buttons at the same time for several seconds. Wait for your iPad to reboot. Whenever you need to force the closure of an app, you can do so by holding down your device’s home button for several seconds.



If privacy is a big concern for you, you can set the iPad to erase its data if too many login attempts fail in a row. Your phone will be wiped if there are 10 failed login attempts.



The iPad doesn’t come with a manual. You must download one if you require it. Apple doesn’t include manuals with their products in order to maintain a minimalistic image.



Having your iPad chime every time you get an email can quickly become annoying. Are you aware of a quick way to disable that unwanted sound? Go into your settings, then choose the general tab. From this tab, choose Sounds. Within that option, you can turn the sound off or adjust it to be less annoying and suit your needs better.



Google does not have to be the only search engine you use. In the settings app, navigate to Safari > Search Engine. In addition to Google, you have a choice of using Yahoo and Bing as your search engine.



Would you like to locate your iPad if it is misplaced? In Settings, you will find an option that says iCloud. Type your Apple ID in the space, and look for “Find My iPad” at the bottom of your screen, then turn it on. If you ever lose the device, just go to iCloud.com.



If you want to mute the volume on the iPad, try this. Just press and hold the “volume down” key for two seconds. You can pull this off faster than trying to fumble with the volume button each time you want to mute. Hold it again when you want to turn the volume up.



It’s time to experience all of those fascinating applications for yourself. Simply double click on the home button, and they’ll instantly appear in the lower portion of your screen. The easy tip will save you quite a bit of time scrolling through pages and pages of apps trying to find the one you are looking for.



Now that you have a better understanding of what to do in order to use your iPad more often, you should get started. The more you learn, the more you will see how infinite the uses of iPad truly are. It is a great tool to have on hand, and you’ll be happy with your purchase.

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