If you haven’t heard of Walkabout NYC before, pay attention. Friday, May 17th from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm,over 40 tech companies based in the city will open their doors to the public for tours, Q&A, and possibly margaritas (seriously, some of them will have drinks). This a unique opportunity to get to know the people behind some of the world’s most used apps and websites that have made our lives easier and more interactive. Companies participating in Walkabout NYC include Ebay, Seamless, Spotify, Grouper, OMGPOP/Zynga, Facebook, Shutterstock, and tons of other gaming and social media websites. It’s sort of a big deal.
On the seventh floor of an average building in the West Village is Dune Studios or better known for the rest of the weekend as the Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination. In this blue-lit, warehouse-like space is the inaugural installment of the Tribeca Film Festival’s newest free event, Storyscapes. On exhibit from April 19th through April 21st are five very unique films that bridge filmmaking and technology. The works chosen for TFF’s Storyscapes are all “multi-platform transmedia program[s] celebrat[ing] new trends in digital media and regular filmmakers and content creators who employ an interactive, web-based or cross-platform approach to story creation.”
Remember Tamagatchis? The digital pet key chains of the late ‘90s that kids couldn’t get enough of? Chances are you had a lanyard with a dozen or more of these egg-shaped pets attached that you obsessed over and took everywhere. The all-consuming toy faded away, as most trendy toys do, but Bandai Co., the original manufacturer of the digital pet, just released a brand new app, Tamagatchi L.I.F.E. to celebrate Tamagatchi's Sweet 16!
Available for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones the free app is just as fun—and needy—as the original. The handheld app is based on the original toy and operates with its original 3 buttons that at first you’re likely to not remember how to use. The little creature is still pixelated and now with push alerts your pet is bound to live a little longer than they used to. You still feed, clean up after, play with, and give your pet medicine just as you did when you were in elementary school. The updated Tamagatchi features different shells and creatures that you’re able to unlock as you raise, and most importantly keep alive, more pets. The new app is also a lot more interactive and allows you to play games with your pet, different colored egg shells, take screenshots to show your Instagram followers just how mature you are, and other new features. Tamagatchi L.I.F.E. also allows you to play in the old school egg mode or the new updated app style.
Remember mood rings? They were one of the coolest things you could have when you were a kid. What could be even cooler and cater to adults? AnoStyle, a new service, allows iOS phone users to change the color of their phone at will...kind of like a mood ring for adults. The service will anodize your device into the color of your choosing, and you can decide to change the color as many times as you want. The anodization process used is a specialized chemical process that creates the desired color just for you. All you have to do is send in your phone and in 1-2 weeks, it'll come back colorful and better than ever. Best of all, unlike paint or wrap services, the color will not fade or chip over time. And hey, even Kim Kardashian is a fan!
Ever wondered what Christmas lights look like when they are perfectly in sync with a Skrillex song? The video starts out in traditional fashion with classic Christmas music in the background. But at about 1:55 in--let the bass be known! It took 35,000 lights and 80 Light O Rama Channels (whatever that is) to make this come to life!
Amsterdam-based duo, 16Bit Lolitas are taking it from the underground to the dance floor with their new artist album Warung Brazil 2012. The boys have constantly been in the studio, especially in the last few months, creating a more energetic, dance-floor-focused album, compared to their last release Supermarkt, which captured the dark, and more experimental sides of the two.
Warung Brazil 2012 embodies their signature deep tech sounds, and was inspired by what is known as the "South American temple of electronic music" – the Warung BeachClub in Itajai, Brazil. The club is Peter Kriek and Ariaan Olieroock’s favorite spot to play at, serving as the perfect inspiration for the new album. Warung Brazil 2012 is a follow-up to their Warung compilation series from 2008. Four years later, and the guys have finally given us more – 21 new original tracks in two mixes!
A new social network has entered the fray, called TTAGIT. This new network is the first open-forum discussion and comment management system that allows users to comment on all URLs with one login. Users can share ideas and see what is trending, all while collecting achievement badges, making it a fun, as well! We were able to chat with one of the company's creators, Lori McClenahan about what we can expect from this new social network.
How does TTAGIT differ from other social networks?
TTAGIT, is the first open-forum discussion social network and comment management system that permits users to comment on all URLs with one login, allows you to talk over any website without leaving the page. Different from any other social network, TTAGIT’s primary focus is on commenting and sharing at the source. The standard sharing platform of social networks is to bring information to the social network itself. TTAGIT not only brings information in but also leaves it where it belongs – the source. For example, with Facebook and Twitter a user can share a URL by posting to their wall or tweeting about it. With TTAGIT, not only does it post to TTAGIT, but you can also find the data on the source, the URL.
According to insiders at Business Insider (naturally), Facebook made the decision within 24 hours to buy Instagram for $1 billion. After word got out that the wildly popular 2-year-old photo-sharing/media company had just received $50 million in funding from investors at a $500 million valuation, Facebook went into "flip out" mode.
CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, reportedly did not want to sell the company and had full intent to grow his business with the $50 million investment. The funding, which came from Thrive Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Greylock Capital, proved to be too much heat in the kitchen for Facebook, who has been reportedly threatened by Instagram for some time. In a move that took even the most tech-savvy individuals by surprise, Facebook solidified the $1 billion deal within 24 hours -- literally doubling Instagram's value over night, while subsequently taking out one of their biggest rivals. In case y'all didn't get the memo, Zuckerberg does not appreciate competition and will do what is necessary to maintain his reign. Even if that means buying and creating other multi-millionaires! (You hear that Pinterest, Twitter?) If divided evenly (they aren't, unfortunately), Instagram's mere 13 employees would be worth $76.9 million each.
In case you're not grasping the magnitude of this acquisition, take a look at this nifty chart of past high-dollar buy-outs:
Google Shopper: This app finds products at the lowest prices in your area. You also get access to special offers from "deal sites" like Groupon and Living Social.
Gas Buddy: If you're one of the lucky travelers who can drive to your destination this holiday season, you'll definitely want to download Gas Buddy. This app locates nearby stations and gives you gas prices so you can find the best deal.