1. Flud News rolls out a brand new web application!

    image

    For the past couple of months if you were a fly on Flud’s wall you would have seen us hard at work on a brand new web app for all of our users. We’ve designed, thrown away, redesigned, and reworked the entire Flud web experience. I’ve got to say, we’re pretty damn proud of what we’ve rolled out today. 

    We haven’t launched publicly with a big announcement yet, but if you are a Flud user and have been wanting to read news on the web then you’ve got to come test this web app with us. Your early feedback will help us make this much better. 

    Make sure you are on your desktop or laptop browser and go to: https://enterprise.flud.it

    Log in with your Flud credentials and voila! Leave the web app open in a tab while you get work done online and we will automagically curate new stories for you so that your news stream remains fresh. 

    You’ll notice that we have made sure to include all the functionality that you currently enjoy on your Flud mobile application, on the web as well. If you haven’t yet brought your team at work on board, try out the “Add My Company” option. Its a breeze to set up and your team will love privately sharing content with each other.

    Please send us your feedback on the web app to bobby(at)flud(dot)it or tweet us @fludapp. 

    Thank you and we hope you love what we’ve built for you!

    All my best,

    Bobby Ghoshal

    CEO, Flud

  2. Apple vs. Samsung, A Deeper Look

    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.

    apple vs samsung


    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.

    -Graham Macphee

    image source: Flickr

  3. Smartphones Causing Sleep Loss, iPhone Knock Offs and Patent Wars

    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?

    More headlines…

    • 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

  4. When Creativity Meets Technology

    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.

    Steve Jobs intersection of technology and liberal arts

    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.

     

    S.Odedra

  5. Instagram Drops, Apple Rises and Tech Gets Blamed For Obesity

    facetagram

    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. 

    technology is making america fat

    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. 

  6. Flud Feature: Shravan Odedra

    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.

    http://www.creativeapplications.net/ A host of amazing people hacking, learning and disrupting things. They are at the intersection of art, media and technology.

    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. 

  7. Instagram Gets Updated and Twitter Co-founders Develop Medium

    From Apple to Instagram, Twitter to talking watches, there is a lot is happening in Tech news today. We have gathered some of the top headlines for you for some Thursday Tech love.

    Facetagram: So far, not too many people seem happy about Instagram’s update. Ever since Facebook’s acquisition of the photo sharing platform, the updates have been increasingly similar to Facebook’s UI and it may not be a popular change. The update didn’t include any new filters, but instead focused on a “new kind of browser experience, Photo Maps,” said the CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom. Location data creates a map of photos so users can tell more “coherent stories” about the photos they have uploaded. In general, the emphasis has been on updates to the UI rather than than details within the app. 

    Medium, created by Twitter co-founders

    Another Self-Indulgent Platform: Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams launched their new project, Medium, a publishing platform that looks like Pinterest and feels like Tumblr. The idea behind the product is to create a way of collecting and displaying stories about our own lives. Posts are gathered into different collections, which may include “When I Was a Kid” or “This Happened To Me” and followers can look through posts that are displayed in the Pinterest tile-based layout. The platform is only open to a select group of test-users right now, but anyone can log in through Twitter and browse through collections. What do you think? Is this another unnecessary twist on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook? Or could this actually gain popularity? 

    Cox, DirectTV…Apple? Apple has been in discussions with different cable companies in an attempt to create an Apple-branded box for live TV and other programming. There haven’t been any deals made yet, but Apple has already made waves in the TV world with “Apple TV”, a product that allows viewers to watch content on a variety of platforms including Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. There aren’t a lot of details regarding the deals Apple is trying to make and what the product or service will actually look like. Who uses Apple TV? Do you think an Apple related cable service is necessary?

    Martian Smartwatches-talk to you watch

    Roger That: Do you wish you could talk to a Martian? Well, now you can. Ok, not really, but you can talk to your Martian Smartwatch! The Irvine-based company, Martian Watches, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring their dream to life: a watch you can talk to. The watch connects to your iPhone or Android handset via Bluetooth and “users can use the watch’s integrated noise-canceling microphone to issue voice commands to the tethered smartphone.” You can even listen and speak to callers directly from the watch. Looks like pretending you are a secret agent just got easier. 

  8. Paul Ryan’s Biceps More Popular Than His Policies

    Paul Ryan's bicep controversy

    He works out: Paul Ryan’s biceps are making headlines after a photo of him with the creator of P90X was revealed online. His budget proposals have been controversial, but this photo has become the second most-searched item associated with the new VP candidate. He has been known to lead workouts on Capitol Hill and worked as a physical trainer after college. “I’m just kind of a workout guy. I’ve always been into this,” he told Politico a few years ago. Since Romney chose Ryan, the exchange of words between Democrats and Republicans hasn’t cooled, and Biden said on Wednesday that their opponents are “decent, honorable men”. A drastic change from his claims on Tuesday that Romney and Ryan would put “y’all back in chains” (referring to big banks and wall street). Together, Romney and Ryan plan on restoring the cuts President Obama has made to Medicare amongst other ideas to help improve the economy that is seeing its weakest recovery since World War 2. 

    All systems go: Mars rover Curiosity has undergone upgrades to replace the onboard software and make it ready for its two-year exploration of the Gale Crater. The rover will be gathering weather conditions at the landing site, images of the peak of Mount Sharp and searching for signs of microbial life. 

    invisible bike helmet

    Fashion friendly safety: In recent tech news, two Swedish women have found a solution to the ugly bike helmet problem. It’s a well-known fact that most people avoid following the safety measure because of how ridiculous most helmets look. The invisible bicycle helmet acts as a sort of airbag. You wear a collar around your neck and a rechargeable battery-powered accelerometer and gyroscope detects the typical motions involved in a bike crash. Not surprisingly, it isn’t cheap. The helmet costs a stunning $600 and it only works once. So for the love of your wallet, watch your riding. 

    In other news:

    image sources: polymic and technabob

  9. The beautiful thing about Flud is that it brings you everything in a summary format and it’s still good looking… it makes it so you can quickly skim through stuff so I don’t have to read every bloody page of TechCrunch or Mashable.

    — 

    Chris Voss, social media leader and host of the Chris Voss Show, says in a talk with our CEO, Bobby Ghoshal.

    Check out this video for the full interview: 

  10. The Original: What is an Internship, Really? →

    We are looking for a Social Media intern to join our San Diego office so we had, Erica Berry, our current Social Content Manager write up on what an internship actually is and the kind of person we’re looking for. 

    Check out what she has to say, and if you think you fit the part — and love news, tech and writing — email us at pr(at)theflud.com.

    ericaberry:

    Since all hell broke loose with the US economy back in 2007, internship has become the latest job market buzzword. The more this term is tossed around, the more confusion builds around what an internship actually is.

    If you think an internship is a shoe-in for a sweet office job once thevsummer is over, or an ideal position for someone who loves making Starbucks runs, or a term employers use to scam free work out of unsuspecting post-grads, you are so wrong.

    As someone who has held multiple internships (ahem, yes multiple), I’ll lay out for you what a real internship is and why you may want one, or two, or three…

    What is an internship? It’s a chance.

    • a chance to build experience in a field you’re interested in. You wouldn’t become a stock trader if your passion is in marine science, so why would you seek out an internship in an industry you’re not personally interested in? The second you stop learning or caring, you know you’re in the wrong place. Internship should not associated with waste of time.
    • a chance to make mistakes. This doesn’t mean blow off the details, it means take big chances and try something new.
    • a chance to find your niche. You know you like baking, but you didn’t know you loved creating interesting cupcake flavors or had a passion for cannolis until you started an internship at your favorite bakery. Discover what makes you happy. 
    • a chance to validate your passion. Show your industry that you’re there to make a difference and do big things. Make a splash and people will notice. Don’t just impress your boss, impress yourself. 

    Yes, you may be a little broke during your internship, you may be a little tired, you may not know exactly what you’re doing, but if everything is handed to you how are you going to grow? You only get one chance in this life, so go big and run with it.

    Go find an internship somewhere you want to work, not just the next place that posts an ad, and work your butt off. Don’t get your hopes up that you’ll land your own clothing line after a week like LC on The Hillls, but if you work hard you’ll create a network of contacts, build your experience and find your passion.

    Want to know more about me and my experience with internships? Email me at erica.berry@theflud.com or check out my LinkedIn, I’d love to answer your questions!

    image source: realmofthesenses.tumblr.com

  11. Flud is an Innovator Awards finalist, along with Instagram, Zynga, Tagged, Dropbox

    Hustle and Ship

    This year’s Innovator Awards in Silicon Valley picked Flud as a finalist for Turnaround of the Year. Three finalists were picked for this category, Flud, Instagram and Tagged.

    Turnaround of the Year basically means that these three companies were unlikely breakout companies of the last 12-18 months. I’m only mildly offended (kidding!).

    We couldn’t be more honored to represent next to Instagram, the 1 billion dollar app, and Tagged, the website that boasts more time spent per user per day than Facebook. 

    Thank you to the judges of the Innovator Awards for thinking of us. Our team has worked really, really hard over the past year to create an incredible application that we can’t stop using, thanks for recognizing that.

    We’re even more excited for another reason — we’re (along with now hundreds of other companies) helping put the up-and-coming San Diego startup community on the map by being placed next to these two Silicon Valley behemoths. We love to see this sort of thing, we love companies who show the tech community and consumers that there is major disruption and innovation happening outside the valley.  

    We’ll get back to work, to hustle and to ship a product that is surely ushering the news industry into the world of social and mobile. Yeah baby!

    Happy Fluding :) 

  12. This one is for you new Android-using Fluders! 
For news, reviews and everything else that falls into the wide world of the Android mobile operating system, Android Central is the center of the Android universe. Get in on your Flud!

    This one is for you new Android-using Fluders!

    For news, reviews and everything else that falls into the wide world of the Android mobile operating system, Android Central is the center of the Android universe. Get in on your Flud!

  13. #FludReads March 28-30

    Rounding up the best news on Twitter —

    Share your favorite articles this weekend with #FludReads for a chance to be featured on Monday’s blog! Sharing to Twitter is now easier than ever — we’ve added “Tweet when you Flud” to our web bookmarklet :)

  14. The Verge’s mission is to offer breaking news coverage and in-depth reporting, product information and community content via a unified, modern platform.
In short, if you need your tech fix now, The Verge is the definitive source for the latest in technology news, reviews, and up-to-the-minute scoops. 

    The Verge’s mission is to offer breaking news coverage and in-depth reporting, product information and community content via a unified, modern platform.

    In short, if you need your tech fix now, The Verge is the definitive source for the latest in technology news, reviews, and up-to-the-minute scoops. 

  15. #FludReads March 22

    The Flud team took over today’s #FludReads! Here’s the best of the best in today’s news —