We are dying from laughter watching some bloopers from our video shoot and thought our fans would get a kick out of them as well!
Sneak peak of @adamstorr working on the browser bookmarklet & plugin with @nauzli_d deep in thought (Taken with Instagram)
Can’t even handle how cool the guys at Basic Agency look in their new Flud shirts (Taken with Instagram)
1. How long have you been using Flud?
I’ve been using Flud since early 2011. I was looking for an alternative to the myriad of RSS readers out there, something that really made me want to read the news. The interface and the wonderful design is what initially brought me to the app. Flipboard was nifty, but quite frankly it was boxy and there was no ease of access to it. Then when 2.0 was released, it made news social, interactive and fun to share. And now with another release upon us, it will make news even more useful than it is today.
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, what you’re interested in…
Currently, I am a senior journalism student at Eastern Illinois University. My focuses within my degree, and my life for that matter, are design and PR, specifically within the technology and communication world (I have an advertising minor as well, thrown in for good measure).
My goals as of now are to be working with a start-up soon after I graduate and hopefully be living in London.
I went to SXSW during my last spring break.
I’m also an avid Dr. Who fan. Totally pumped for the next season!
3. What do you use Flud for?
News is my life. I consume almost as much news daily as I do caffeine.
Flud is definitely a filter for what really matters in my fields. I get the current information as it happens and only on the information I care about. Speed matters too. When I use Flud, the efficiency in which I gather so much knowledge astounds myself at times.
4. What are your favorite topics to read about or blogs to follow?
That’s like asking for a favorite child; I know the answer, but I love them all so much. As the categories go, technology and design are up there. The Verge has really been the best tech blog I read. The design of their website is flawless and gorgeous, and their content is quality. Fubiz is also a great French design/creative site that always has something inspiring to share, not to mention I brush up on my French reading skills.
Over the past four weeks, two of the largest technology companies on the planet have been battling out a case in a Californian courtroom that we are told could either reaffirm the patent system of America, or destroy innovation entirely - every aspect of the case is so very clear… The companies have exchanged arguments in the presence of a jury to come to a conclusion regarding the misuse of patented software, and trade dress dilution. The case had its highs and lows and ultimately ended in a win for Apple, with them being granted damages, to be paid by Samsung, of $1,049,343,540. Yes. Over one billion dollars.
But I’m not here to talk about the case itself: I’m here to talk about myself - I know, how self-centred - and how the case has affected me as a consumer. Over the past month, I have been ‘battling’ myself; trying to understand my own feelings and opinions about the conflict in the industry.
On one side, we have a company protecting its inventions which it has spent billions to create, and lost almost as many billions due to competitors stealing its creations. The other presents the argument that it too has been stolen from, and the aforementioned inventor has done nothing new or inventive; they have only continued along the path set out by already-existing creatives.
Both arguments have their merits, and their faults, but above this, one of them was easier for me to write. I find myself swaying towards supporting Samsung’s argument (the second of the two). Why is this? Because I believe they are right, and a result in their favour would be most beneficial to the legal and patent systems as a whole. That is the blunt truth. The real question here is: why is Samsung the protagonist in this story playing out in my head?
What factors could there be in my judgement? I owe nearly everything I have achieved to this day to my interest in Android; it let me become a blogger, then writer, then designer. This is certainly a deal-breaker. I may even have a subconscious need to support Android, as if in return for what it allowed me to do.
Everyone has connections like these to brands. And that’s all they are - companies using branding to make us give our money to them. Remember, there is no real ‘good guy’, only businesses operating for profit. We all have preferences when buying technology, and these are just that — preferences.
These realisations lead me to yet another question: do I have a preference or a bias? Firstly, we should define ‘bias’: simply, it is an unjust or unfair preference. The difference between having a preference when purchasing and having a bias when making a judgement in court as a juror is that we are allowed to have preferences when buying - of course we are. But when we are considering only the facts, we mustn’t. We can’t say “I want this product to continue to exist; hence I support its creator,” to justify a decision in a legal dispute. That isn’t how the law works. This is why tech-bloggers such as myself are the least appropriate to be involved in the Apple vs. Samsung case. Let’s not kid ourselves: we love technology, we are passionate about it and we are knowledgeable about it, but we do not possess the innocent unknowingness of the layperson that allows them to make decisions based solely on facts.
For this reason, I can only conclude that I - and others who argue they should have been involved in the jury’s decision - am wrong. We know too much to provide an answer (or over seven hundred as the case required) that is unaffected by our own opinions and, yes, biases. Only an expert or ‘normal’ person can provide a decision in a case like this. Enthusiasts are too involved in the industry to have a real, reasoned response. We are biased. But biases are not bad things. Biases are nothing more than preferences taken out of context. We all just need to learn to understand our own biases, and those of others.
image source: Flickr
From Windows, to Mac and more potential patent disputes, enjoy reading some of the top headlines for tech Thursday. Check out our Facebook page and share your thoughts on these topics with us!
Researchers at the Lightening Research Center have discovered that two or more hours of exposure to backlit devices suppresses melatonin, in other words…your tablet or smartphone could be to blame for why you aren’t sleeping. “Stimulating the human circadian system” before bed will decrease your ability to get a good night’s sleep. They only suggestion thus far is to dim the light on your devices before bed.
Emulator software, Parallels, allows you to run Windows and Mac at the same time on one device. The app, started in 2006, just revealed Version 8 for the Mac desktop looking to completely merge Mountain Lion and Windows 8. What do you think? Is this a great idea or is it too much?
iPhone 5 was released in China! Well, kind of. Ok, it wasn’t. China’s Apple copycat, Goophone, is trying to launch their product before the iPhone 5. Many features are extremely similar and this isn’t the first time the company has replicated Apple products. While China may be knocking off Apple products, executives from Apple and Google are now reportedly talking about patent disputes. Is anyone else tired of these patent wars?
- Samsung isn’t going to get over the Apple lawsuit quietly. They just unveiled their first Windows 8 phone.
- Ever wondered how those Genius’ at Apple get trained? This might be a good look into their manual…
image source: Mashable
There has been a major surge in the prominence of social media within the last few years. Just a few weeks ago, we saw how social sites such as Twitter, completely changed the face of the Olympic games. Now, we are seeing how social sites are changing the face of the Presidential Election. How does this evolution in the way people communicate, connect or advertise translate to your business.
Whether you are a small start up, or a Fortune 500 company, customer advocacy is what you are looking for. You want people to know your product, believe in your service and advocate for you. Word of mouth is powerful, and through social media, you are able to maximize this word of mouth tactic. The difficult thing is measuring your effect. There are countless sites trying to help companies or individuals discover the perfect times to post for maximum reach, analytics on your social data etc…but what does it all really mean? The focus should most importantly be on the value of exchange.
According to Lee Odden, ”Traditional models of ROI (input-output) can miss the point of how much impact integrated search, social and content marketing can have on the overall customer relationship.” Consumers want to be connected. They don’t just want to be sold something, they want to be involved with the products or services they believe in. Social media has given brands the opportunity to engage in dialogue with a larger audience of their customers. Value of exchange is based on the relationship between consumers and brands. There is an opportunity to make the relationship more positive and intimate or negative and distant.
As much of a shock as this may be, social media isn’t about “me.” As soon as brands realize this, they will start engaging more consumers. Barry Wheeler reminds us that, ”Customers don’t ‘like’ your business or follow your tweets to hear continuous business talk about your product or services….Focus on what your customers think or want from the relationship.” Find out why customers have entered your social circle. Ask them questions and build upon your answers. Know all your different groups of customers and make sure you are using different social platforms to reach them all. (Mashable has a great article with an info-graphic on Social Networks).
Create a personality behind your brand on social networks. People want to feel like there is a person behind the brand, not just a company trying to sell their product or service. Carry social conversations about relevant topics. Wheeler continues to say that “Social engagement is about two-way dialogue and if you continually push your products and services on those in your social network you are breaking one of the fundamental rules.”
Remember that there is more to your brand than how may likes or follows you receive. Although sites like Google Analytics, Sprout Social or CrowdBooster can be extremely helpful, be careful not to look at analytics too often. It can easily discourage or over-excite you. A person’s activity and engagement on various social networks are unpredictable and the data will always change. Stay focused on connection and relationships.
image sources: davestrayer.com & onlinebusiness.com
The Republican National Convention is in full throttle on its third day in Tampa. Mitt Romney accepted the nomination of President for the Republican party and tonight, Paul Ryan will accept his nomination as Vice President. Republicans are looking to win the favors of hispanic voters who are strongly in favor of Obama based on his immigration policies. Mrs. Romney gave a full speech, and the convention will also feature guest speakers like Condoleezza Rice and John McCain. Romney will speak again on Thursday night to bring the conference to a close, while Obama prepares for the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte. Based on a recent poll, 48 percent of voters trust Romney with the economy and only 44 percent trust Obama. However, a large 61 percent of the nation thought Obama was more likable. Needless to say, it has been a difficult race to predict.
Hurricane Isaac hit land yesterday and is maintaining wind speeds of 75 mph, keeping a Category 1 hurricane strength. The storm is moving at a slow speed, which will mean more rainfall for Louisiana cities. Flooding has been reported in New Orleans and other coastal cities, as a result of storm-surges up to 12 feet. National Guard troops have already been escorted into areas to help with rescues and officials are hoping people start adhering to warnings and get to safe shelters. Fortunately, the levee systems have held up fine despite some flooding and Isaac is expected to be reduced back to a tropical storm late today.
"No Easy Day", a book due to be released on September 4th, is a first-hand account by a Navy Seal recapping the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. It has already gained attention and some controversy because his accounts differ from the Obama administration’s original description of the event. A spokesperson for the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command said that he and other Defense Department officials received copies of the book last week and were surprised because the book was never reviewed by government agencies to ensure that nothing confidential was revealed.
In other news:
- Changes to Google’s homepage may be dangerous steps for the company.
- Samsung has released its Galaxy Note 2.
- President Assad of Syria gave a TV interview on Wednesday regarding the government’s battle against rebel forces.
image source: CBS News
1. How long have you been using Flud?I have been using Flud since the very beginning, version 1.0. It has been interesting to me since then, and I have followed its development closely, up to the soon-to-be-released version - what could be a redefining release.
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, what you’re interested in…I’m Graham, a British teenager and a geek. I’m a writer for the UltraLinx web magazine - I share whatever I find that is interesting about technology, keeping to reporting on only the most stylish new products. I’m also involved in a few projects as a designer. I am the designer of Boid, the Android Twitter app, and Android and Tea, a new Android news blog coming soon, as well as multiple other apps and services. My main interests are technology, the future, and the Internet to some extent, and the ways in which they affect culture and our day-to-day lives.
3. What do you use Flud for?I use Flud to find alternative news. I use it to find things that are not being shared on social networks, and find things I’m interested in, collected from the stream of Fludded articles from my followers. At the moment it is just another news source for me, but as time goes on, I suspect it shall become a way for me to find new sources of articles, and give me a new way to follow and interact with friends.
4. What are your favorite topics to read about or blogs to follow?My favourite topics to follow fit into three main categories: technology, design and science. A few of the sources I use are: The Verge, The Industry, TechCrunch, The Next Web, Boing Boing and Wired. (And, of course, UltraLinx, too, which is featured in the Flud sources store.)
5. You’ll be writing an article about the Apple vs. Samsung case. What interests you about this topic?The main thing that interests me about the Apple vs. Samsung case is the almost perfectly equal divide in technology enthusiasts over the issue. It’s rare to see such a split over an issue, and it seems this heightens the importance of the case even further. The result of the case for the two parties, too, is not what really intrigues me: it is the possible overreaching effect on the patent system in America.
On the eve of Hurricane Katrina’s 7th anniversary, Tropical Storm Isaac has officially grown to a category 1 hurricane and is approaching land towards Louisiana. Authorities have close the floodgates surrounding the east bank of New Orleans. All 127 perimeter floodgates have been closed as well. The hurricane is moving at 10 mph, towards the mouth of the Mississippi River and officials have assured everyone that the levees have been updated sufficiently enough to handle storms stronger than this one.
Forty-nine years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech. Around 300,000 white and African-Americans were gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear this 35-year-old man spur the country on to share his dream. Today, his speech still inspires many to fight for what they believe in. How has MLK Jr. inspired you? Do you remember him giving his speech?
Officials from Yosemite National Park notified 1,700 visitors that they may have been exposed to a rodent-borne disease that has already claimed the lives of two people who stayed at the park. Anyone who has stayed at the park from June to August are warned of this “hantavirus pulmonary syndrome”, which demonstrates symptoms including fever, dizziness and chills. There isn’t a specific treatment for this illness, and the park officials are assuring the public that this disease has no reflection on the cleanliness of the cabins.
In other news:
image source: Seattle Times
On Saturday, Neil Armstrong’s family announced that the famous and humble astronaut who made the first steps on the moon, died at the age of 82. Earlier this month Armstrong had a heart bypass surgery and complications resulted in his passing.
On July 20, 1969, Armstrong captained the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and when he made the historical step onto the surface, his words went down in history.
"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Armstrong is known for being an extremely private and humble man. Despite his achievements, he chose to stay out of the spotlight, but continued to dedicate his life to flying after taking a desk job as NASA’s deputy associate administrator for aeronautics in the office of advanced research and technology.
He was flying a plane before he had a license to drive a car and in 1955 graduated from Purdue University with an aeronautical engineering degree. After his career in NASA he declined offers to run for Senate, but served on a presidential commission that investigated the explosion that destroyed the space shuttle Challenger.
In perfect tune with Armstrong’s life, his family asked that their privacy would be respected during this time and rather than a grand memorial for their husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend they requested, "The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."
In other news:
Explore where more of NASA’s pioneers are now.
Weather experts, the media and even politicians are keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Isaac, which could grow to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it hits land. Its path would include New Orleans, which is remembering the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina just seven years ago. The Republican National Convention is also underway so everyone is involved is attempting to prepare for the storm and splitting coverage.
Image source: The Register
Lance Armstrong announced Thursday that he wouldn’t be fighting charges against claims that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He faces the loss of his seven Tour de France titles. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency wants to place a ban on his wins from 1998 and forward since Armstrong stated that he refuses to participate in a process “that is so one-sided and unfair.”
New York was awakened to a frightening attack by a gunman at the Empire State Building on Friday morning. It is reported that the gunman, Jeffery Johnson, was dismissed from a job about a year ago and fatally shot a former co-worked from Hazan Imports and wounded eight others. When police began closing in on the man he began shooting, officers retaliated and killed him. Any link to the historic building or terrorism have been ruled out. This is the third mass shooting this summer in the United States alone and it is increasing the need for a discussion on a solution for gun control.
In other news:
- Aurora shooting suspect may have told classmate about his plans.
- Romney’s birth certificate remark “sets off firestorm.”
- Marines wounded in Mexico when a gunman opened fire.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
As a kid, I was never really into technology. The closest I came to hardware, or any kind of software, was loading games on my cousin’s ZX Spectrum. Needless to say, like most children at that time, we spent what seemed like an eternity waiting for the crackling tones and beeps to load the game, only to lose and have to re-load the game again.
I was however, interested in the artwork on the cover, the animation and graphics. For years afterwards, I was happy ‘pigeonholing’ technology as the geeky, complicated stuff and art and design as the cool, fun stuff I understood. Two very different creatures or so I thought, but that thinking could not be further from the truth.
Today, you only have to look at companies such as Apple, Facebook and even Nike, to know that they have successfully integrated the best of both disciplines. Resulting in products and services that whilst disrupting their respective fields, positively influence human behavior.
Roughly six years ago, Nokia was king. Content in creating phones, that ran Java applications and connected to the web. However, Apple in 2007, then entered the telecoms market with a revolutionary device, featuring a no hardware keyboard, large screen real estate and powerful software. In addition to the groundbreaking technology, Apple also had another great appeal. Through its design, it showed that it understood people and had considered the human experience. The phone was intuitive, easy to use and understand, even though it had adopted the new gesture based interaction with a mobile phone.
The late Steve Jobs shared a wonderful quote about Apple’s thinking at his keynote
speech in 2010.
“We have always tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts.”
Summarizing Apple’s total commitment in bridging the gap, between people and technology by enhancing the users’ experience through design.
For me, design is much more than aesthetic appeal. It’s about how the product or service will work and what it will do for you, the actual experience. It’s about finding the sweet spot, between technology and creativity, which is critical to a successful outcome. With standards today set high, we expect designers to have devised a frictionless experience, or we will pick an alternative product or service.
One such example is the infamous Facebook over MySpace discussion.
We all know the story, of how MySpace was once the original dominant social networking site, until Facebook came along and snatched its crown. But how did this happen, when the basic technology was the same?
In my opinion, it was down to the user experience. MySpace became too cluttered and over complicated, by ‘shoehorning’ every feature onto one page and allowing customization of pages. Too many options resulted in poor page layouts and poor user experience.
Contrastingly, Facebook offered a clean and easy to navigate interface. An almost ‘boutique’ like site, its features were well considered and placed on the page and the site offered no customisation. Although the design was almost ‘basic’ in appearance, it was easy to understand and navigate and resulted in a better user experience. Without realising it, people actually prefer some decisions to be made for them; editing out the unnecessary and highlighting the important. Facebook understood its brand and reached its audience by curating excellent customer experiences. Quite simply, it made the complicated simple.
Nowadays, changes in technology not only affect how we produce work, but also where we produce work. Like much of my work, for instance ideas for this article, start life as notes and ponderings on my iPhone, capturing these thoughts and moments on my commute to work. I am then able to flesh out these ideas, on my iPad at the coffee house, while the notes wait for me via Apples’ Cloud based service.
It’s safe to say, that our expectations from technology have grown, but our behaviours are also being shaped by technology and its ability to track our daily progress, geographic location and social interactions. It really becomes interesting when these elements are combined, as they have in the Nike+ FuelBand.
This simply monitors your movement and allows you to quantify your chosen exercise, by earning Nikes’ own currency of ‘Fuel’. Their thinking behind this, is that regardless of fitness or athleticisms, if two people both exercise for 20 minutes they would have done the same amount of exercise, therefore be rewarded the same amount. Creating a sort of level playing field, to encourage competitiveness and motivation.
The technology, both hardware and software in the Nike+FuelBand, is not new or groundbreaking. It uses an accelerometer, similar to those found in most Smartphone’s, to measure movement and speed. This tracks your data, calculates your Nike Fuel points and feeds the information back to your Apple app and own dedicated webpage.
In true Nike style, this innovative thinking has brought together the hardware, software and social interaction, giving credible meaning to the data about calories, BMI and KPH we collect in a way that has never been done before.
What could be interesting in the near future would be a device that takes into account external factors, such as weather patterns and geo location to better prepare you for your workout. Or an app that detects that you will soon reach a plateau in your exercise regime, and adjusts the programme to help you move beyond your goal.
In retrospect, I think the future of technology is about understanding human nature and delivering experiences, by using creative solutions to problems with technology as the catalytic tool to make it happen.
It’s about collaborating to innovate.
Four months after Facebook announced they would be purchasing Instagram, the deal is finally closed. Today, it is worth $747 million, which is significantly less than the $1 billion when the deal was first signed. Instagram founders continued to work on their product without Facebook’s help while Facebook designed their own camera app and made many updates to their current mobile app. Most people speculate that the acquisition was more about removing a competitor that had a large user base.
The results are in and Apple is officially the most valuable company in the world with a worth more than twice as much as America’s largest media conglomerates combined. Although many people were concerned about the future of Apple after Jobs’ leadership, the company has proven to be invaluable as they reached a net worth of $621.64 billion. Their stock has increased over 8,000 percent in the past 10 years and with the recent Apple products on the market, not to mention the iPhone 5 that will soon be released, their future is looking bright.
Is technology to blame for the world’s obesity? According to The Milken Institute, the answer is yes. Technology has increased the amount of time people spend watching TV, using computers and playing games, which decreases “energy expenditure” and increases consumption of snack foods. Technology also lends a hand to processed foods. Results are debatable because there are many countries who seem unaffected by technology from the simple fact that they eat smaller portions, like France. In the United States, the daily caloric intake has increased by 300 calories in the past 15 years and Milken estimates “about a 1.4 percent increase in obesity for every 10 percent increase in the share of the economy invested in ICT.”
Med Sensation has developed a product called Glove Tricorder with the goal of making it easier for doctors and patients to diagnose breast cancer and other problems like enlarged kidneys “and other sub-dermal issues”. Eventually the gloves will be available to more people to assess sports injuries or to perform self-exams.
We are so excited to kick off our first week with a Friday Feature! Shrav is one of Flud’s faithful users so we were happy to have him contribute to the blog. His article will be up on Friday, but for now enjoy a little background on the voice behind the story!
1. How long have you been using Flud?
I known about Flud since 2010.. I remember seeing the design Bobby put up on his Behance profile and loved the design and layout. I specifically remember Flud as I was looking for a news aggregator/social reader that not only delivered the content I wanted to read but also deliver it in a beautifully and intuitive way.
I have been using the app since late 2010 - Early 2011.
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, what you’re interested in…
I’m a Senior Designer / Art Director at a Social media agency in London. I work in digital but come from a print background so like to get my hands dirty when I can. I’m also a visual scout for The FWA and now I will be getting involved with Flud (so stoked). Creativity in its broadest spectrum is what interests me.
I am also a bit of a ‘junk lord’ and hoarder of sneakers, throwback comics and toys.
3. What do you use Flud for?
What don’t I use Flud for…? Flud is my constant source of news and inspiration.
It keeps me up to date with news that is happening right as it happens, which helps me stay ahead in my industry.
It also helps me filter through the crap of the day to get at what I want to read.
4. What are your favorite topics to read about or blogs to follow?
Wow.. er…? I follow so many sites, people blogs and magazines both on and off Flud. In terms of genres I would have to say Design/creative, Advertising, Fashion, Sneakers, Gadgets, Music, Social media and Current Affairs.
In terms of actual names…(To name just a few.)
AKQA - nuff said!, The KDU, Behance, The FWA, Mashable, WIRED, TNW, HYPETRAK, Hypebeast, Cool Hunting
5. You’ll be writing an article about what’s new in tech. What about interests you about the tech world?
As a creative I am really starting to embrace the merger of Technology and Creative. Not just at the Designer Vs. Developer stage but in the Advertising sector and Product design level. The lines for me a truly blurring, there isn’t this divide of them and us. Collaborating is the way forward.
Im inspired by the great Innovators such as Apple, Google and Nike but also the small teams that hack and experiment with technology and UI & UX.
Some people doing it well:
Teehan + Lax are a digital great agency that totally understand user experience.
There is this great bit of kit I can’t wait to get my hands on made by leapmotion.com… go check it out.
Thanks for sharing Shrav!
Keep your eyes out for his article, this Friday on the merging of tech and creativity.