Opera Software launches mobile internet packages sponsored to cover customer cost
Opera Software has announced the launch of its Sponsored Web Pass product, offering mobile Internet packages to consumers that provide free data. Operators can team up with advertisers to sponsor the cost of customers' mobile Internet access, in time- or content-based increments. By watching a short ad from a corporate sponsor prior to viewing selected content, users can then engage with the content in their (free) Web Pass for its duration. When the Sponsored Web Pass expires, users are given the opportunity to opt-out of continuing using data. Operators interested in utilizing Opera's Web Pass can contact Opera Software.
Digital photo sharing site adds physical flair
Yahoo-owned photo storage service Flickr announced on Tuesday the availability of a new service that can turn users' digital Flickr libraries into physical photo books. The new Flickr Photo Books service will "analyze your photos and intelligently crop, position, and place them automatically," according to Flickr. The company says that a user's collection "can go from Flickr to photo book in as easy as one click."
App takes aim at Instragram
Photo service Flickr has posted a major update of its iPhone app. The release comes with a new set of filters, which can also be previewed live while shooting images. Filters can moreover be customized, in order to produce specific effects.
IQ Engines API to close in next 30 days
Yahoo has continued its buying spree by acquiring an image recognition startup. IQ Engines, a startup specializing in recognizing items in photographs and cataloging such items, has been purchased for an undisclosed amount by Yahoo, with the team behind it shuttering its API in the next 30 days and moving over to work with Yahoo employees working on Flickr.
iOS versions of the developers apps no longer available
PhotoForge 2 developer GhostBird Software has announced that it is joining Yahoo's Flickr team. The company will be bringing its entire team and intellectual property involved with iOS apps KitCam and PhotoForge 2 to the rejuvenated photo storage locker. Effective immediately, users who purchased the apps from the iOS app store will no longer be able to re-download the apps.
Pro users retain all the previous benefits as long as account is kept current
Flickr Pro users have been informed by Yahoo about the future of the once-premium accounts. As long as the user's account is kept in good standing, customers paying $25 per year for unlimited storage will be allowed to keep the plan indefinitely, with no plans for the Pro benefits to be purged.
Could be used as excuse to pull YouTube support from iOS
Apple is aiming to integrate Flickr and Vimeo into iOS 7, a source tells 9to5Mac. The integration is expected to work in much the same way as Facebook and Twitter support does in iOS 6, allowing single sign-ins via the Settings menu. In the case of Flickr, at least, signing in may not only add another option to iOS' built-in sharing menus, but also simplify apps with their own hooks for the service, such as Instagram. Flickr is already integrated into OS X Mountain Lion and the iOS edition of iPhoto.
Capacity revealed at NYC presser
Speaking at tonight's Yahoo press event in New York City, Marissa Mayer and Yahoo's Mobile Engineering Senior Vice President and Flickr product manager Adam Cahan revealed the new Flickr and accompanying new Android app, offering users 1TB of photo storage in a "very metro" user interface.
Anti-Kim Jong Un photos posted, Anonymous demands reiterated
In the latest phase of hacker collective Anonymous' attack against the bellicose North Korean regime, the Twitter and Flickr accounts associated with a North Korean propaganda site have been seized. The accounts taken over belonged to Uriminzokkiri, a web site which had 14,000 users' records stolen earlier this week by the same hacker group.
Free three months Pro usage includes unlimited uploads
Photo-sharing site Flickr is offering its free users an upgraded trial membership at no charge for a limited time. Messages sent to users under the subject line "Merry Flickr" state that users will gain three months of access to Flickr Pro automatically, and comes shortly after Instagram caused a public outcry by altering its terms of service to reveal that the company could use members' content in advertising.
Instagram to use metadata to serve ads, reserves right to use photos
Popular photo sharing service Instagram updated its terms of service this week, giving Instagram expanded rights to monetize content its users upload and to serve them ads. The new terms are part of Instagram's ongoing shift toward monetization, as Facebook, which bought the service for $1 billion earlier this year, looks to capitalize on that purchase. Instagram describes the terms as "part of our new collaboration" with Facebook and says they are meant to bring about "better experiences for our users."
Flickr Uploadr goes HTML5 for web images
Flickr revamped the web version of its Uploadr tool on Wednesday. The new version has switched to HTML5 with a more natural drag-and-drop interface to load photos. Making the switch now lets Flickr show thumbnails, like the native desktop and mobile apps, as well as reorder images, tag friends, and otherwise handle most tasks that would have needed to wait until afterwards.
Roku media hub arrives with slight premium
Roku on Monday kicked off its Canadian launch. The country will get two higher-end models in the lineup, the Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS, both of which can handle 1080p video; the XS bundles in the Wii-like motion remote and includes both Ethernet and USB for wired access and local content. Canadians get much of the same content, including Netflix, Rdio music, and major sports like the MLB and NHL, although US-specific services like Hulu Plus are out of contention.
Moves to startup to fill gap from Picnik closure
Flickr has announced that Aviary will be its new photo editing web app. The division of Yahoo had been using Google's Picnik, but had to scramble to find a replacement after Google announced plans in January to shut Picnik down on April 19 as part of a streamlining of operations that Google began last August.
PS Vita gets Netflix, Flickr, Live Tweet apps
With the full launch of the PS Vita in the US on Wednesday, Sony has released a number of new games and apps in the online PlayStation Store. Users can now download the free Flickr, Live Tweet, and Netflix apps. Flickr is a photo-sharing site that lets users join groups and make personalized photo streams.
Flickr reworks to improve photo viewing and upload
Flickr senior product lead Markus Spiering in a far-ranging interview previewed some of its first major overhauls to Flickr for years. A February 28 overhaul outlined to BetaBeat will remake the photo preview page, turning it into a mosaic with larger shots and information only when it's needed. The new upload page is now more akin to a mobile app with a more visual drag-and-drop interface.
Roku branches out to UK in earnest
Roku's international plans became real Friday after it began UK and Ireland. The Roku LT and Roku 2 XS are now available for £50 and £100 respectively (60 and 120 euros). British customers are simultaneously getting BBC iPlayer to catch up on the past one to two weeks of TV shows.
Flickr remakes Pro strategy
Flickr has detailed a handful of key changes to the Pro side of its photo sharing service. Users can now pay for as little as three months at a time if they like, paying $7 for each interval. Long-term subscribers who prefer the two-year plan are getting a price cut at the same time, down from $50 to $45.
Yahoo settles on permanent CEO from eBay division
Yahoo confirmed rumors Wednesday and picked PayPal president Scott Thompson as its new CEO. The nomination of the eBay division head followed months of uncertainty at the company following the firing of Carol Bartz in September. Thompson takes the position January 9.
Samsung starts CES run with DV300F camera
Starting what's likely to be a flurry of introductions related to CES, Samsung has brought out its next-generation of DualView cameras in the DV300F. The 16-megapixel camera has a new version of the signature 1.5-inch front display that's more flush with the body, reducing its effect when left off. Wi-Fi is new to the DualView series and can share photos and videos with Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube without either a computer or an Eye-Fi card.
Microsoft involvement in Yahoo said small at most
Microsoft's rumored new attempt at buying Yahoo might just be a minority, non-exclusive stake, insiders reportedly slipped out Monday night. The Windows developer would be just one of multiple companies, including financial backers at Silver Lake and Andreessen Horowitz, aiming to buy a 20 percent stake in Yahoo. The New York Times in leaking details understood that offers had to be in by the end of Monday and could be discussed this week.
Vita memory cards priced from $30 to $120
Video game retailer GameStop has potentially revealed US pricing information for the unique memory cards that the PlayStation Vita will use. The 4GB card will cost $30, an 8GB one $45, 16GB will be $70, and the 32GB version will cost $120. This is somewhat similar to the prices of the cards for the PSP system at GameStop, which are $38 and $51 for the 4GB and 8GB cards, respectively, and $125 for the 32GB version.
Google TV update adds key YouTube, photo extras
Google's recent Google TV revamp got its first significant OS update on Wednesday with the addition of some heavily requested extras. YouTube on the TV interface now catches up to Apple TV with support for both playlists and subscriptions. Common playlists like Favorites and Watch Later carry over at the same time.
Microsoft reconsiders buying Yahoo
Microsoft has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Yahoo that signals it's considering buying the search engine outright again, a source slipped out on Wednesday. The pact outlined by the New York Times would let it examine Yahoo's financials to see if a buyout would make sense. As Yahoo's conditions in the NDA would prevent collaborating on deals, it's possible Microsoft would go it alone on a takeover or wait until later to arrange financing.
iPhone 4S passes all but iPhone 4 on Flickr list
Flickr's Camera Finder has already put the iPhone 4S as the second-most popular camera phone. In the five weeks since its arrival, Apple's phone has passed the only Android phone in the top five, the HTC Evo 4G, as well as the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The only device in front is the iPhone 4, whose 16-month lead kept it safe from an immediate challenge.
Pro photog Leibovitz picks iPhone for pocket cam
Pro photographer Annie Leibovitz in a talk with NBC's Rock Center argued that the iPhone was the best pocketable camera. Calling it the "snapshot camera of today," she touted Apple's phone because it wasn't just a camera but also a general-purpose device. It made photography available to everyone, even if she was still becoming familiar.
Vizio ships M-series LED LCD Smart 3D TVs
The 3D HDTVs Vizio introduced at the CES expo in January are now shipping, the company said Wednesday. The M-series sets use passive glasses technology that's cheaper to run, but still have Vizio Internet Apps. All have edge-lit LED backlighting, and some sets include up to four pairs of the battery-free glasses, which are lightweight and more comfortable than active shutter glasses.
Mixel is for creative types, allows for collages
A new iPad app lets users create digital collages from a variety of sources including personal photo collections, Facebook photos, Bing search images and more. Called Mixel (free, App Store), it's also unique among similar apps as it shares all creations with the Mixel community to tear apart and do with what they will. Created by Dogpatch Labs, the app is meant for creative types who don't need to be sitting at a dedicated desk or studio to indulge in their passion, said founder Khoi Vinh.
Nokia shows off four Symbian S40 Asha phones
Nokia also revealed four new entry-level handsets at Nokia World. The Asha (derived from Hindi and meaning hope) line includes the Asha 303, Asha 300, Asha 200 and Asha 201. The 303 is the most advanced, getting a 2.6-inch capacitive touchscreen, a hardware QWERTY keyboard, and a 1GHz processor.
Lumia 800 sample photos leaked on the web
Some photos reportedly taken by the upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone were unearthed on the web by The Nokia Blog this weekend. Apart from one shared photo, there is also EXIF information, revealing some specs about the handset's camera and its capabilities. Its biggest clue is a lens aperture of f2.2, the same as that of the camera found on the Nokia N9.
Flickr for Android goes live with Instagram cues
Yahoo devoted a rare amount of attention to Android first by launching Flickr for Android (free, Android Market) with new features the iPhone app doesn't have. The new app takes most of its direction from apps like Instagram or Picplz and lets users take shots directly from the app with post-shot filters. Users can cross-post to multiple social services at the same time, and recent uploads are organized in a stream that includes both the shots and comments side by side.
Sony Dash B7 and B70 joined by N200 in US
Sony as part of its home media push Wednesday unveiled a rearchitected Dash and brought the N200 streaming media player to the US. The Dash HID-B7 and HID-B70 are now PC-free, having their own setup processes, and have a simple web browser for a quick information check. The B70 adds a built-in lithium-ion battery to let it serve as a traveling clock radio.
Appliance adds smart content to TV viewing
Chumby has announced the NeTV, an appliance that turns a conventional TV into a "smart" TV. The device, placed between the TV and any video source, inserts additional content. Using it, a viewer can browse the web, view photos sent from an Android-based smartphone, or access over 1,500 apps including a personalized internet news crawler, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, or Flickr.
iPhone 4 claims top Flickr camera title
Flickr's Camera Finder has officially confirmed Apple CEO Steve Jobs' claims at WWDC that the iPhone 4 was the most popular camera. The smartphone just edged past the Nikon D90 to get the largest percentage of members and 4,800 photos uploaded per day. It had been threatening an upset for the past several weeks.
Jobs says iWeb going away after iCloud shift
Apple chief Steve Jobs in a e-mail response to a fan reportedly confirmed that iWeb hosting was going away with the shift to iCloud. When asked if he'd need an alternative web builder and a hosting service, the CEO supposedly gave a simple "yep" response from his iPhone. The MacRumors reader was worried at having to start fresh and made it clear in the feedback.
iOS 5 may link to LinkedIn, more beyond Twitter
A further discovery inside the iOS 5 beta has shown that the social network integration runs deeper than just Twitter. Readily accessible settings in the contacts let users add Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, and even MySpace. The AllThingsD look showed that users just have to enter a given username and let the OS take care of the outbound links.
Administration leverages social media services
A photograph posted by the White House on its Flickr account shows President Barack Obama working in the Oval Office, with an iPad 2 (complete with gray Smart Cover) by his side. The photo was taken on the same day that the president announced to the nation that terrorist Osama Bin Laden had been killed during a firefight, and showcases the 2010 makeover of the Oval Office, which was privately funded to give a more comfortable, modern look to the historic room.
iPhone 4 near becoming most popular Flickr camera
The iPhone 4 should soon carry the distinction of being the most popular camera on Flickr. The Yahoo-owned site's Camera Finder shows Apple's phone on the verge of overtaking the Nikon D90 and having already passed Canon's EOS 5D Mark II, Rebel T1i, and Rebel XSi. Without timestamps, it's unclear exactly when the shift began, but it followed after a surge a significant amount of time after the iPhone 4 was on sale.
Sharp ships first of four 70-inch LCD HDTVs
Sharp this week has showed off the largest LCD HDTV on the market with the 70-inch LC-70LE732U. The company was quick to point out the set is 62 percent larger than 55-inch TVs, and it offers the company's signature Quattron four-color pixels with yellow to improve some scenes. It centers on a 120Hz, LED-backlit panel with a native 1080p output.
Google mobile app recognizes faces for profiles
(Update 3: CNN backtracks, Google clarifies) Google is developing a mobile app that would recognize faces for the sake of profiles, the company's image recognition directo Harmut Neven said in an interview. The app, possibly a variant on Google Goggles, would link a person's to a Google profile. Neven's approach as described to CNN would give users quick access to contact information, much like a personal business card, and could also show photos from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and other sites attached to an account.
BlackBerry roadmap shows version 7 in November
RIM's software strategy for 2011 has been given out in full with a roadmap that showed the first signs of BlackBerry 7. The future OS is said to be starting "core integration" in mid-October and to have finished by the end of November. N4BB's copy didn't say for sure if it would bring in the new QNX foundations behind the PlayBook or if this meant shipping devices.
Google Social Search updates
Google on Thursday made a significant change to its Social Search to better bring in social networks. The engine now pushes videos and other content recommended by friends depending on their relevance through outside sites, such as from Twitter, Flickr or a Blogger page. It had previously only pulled the information from a Google profile and often let the results sit at the bottom.
Motorola details changes to Motoblur, Media Link
At MWC on Monday, Motorola also revealed newly revamped software for Mac and PC users, with Media Link 1.5. At the same time, the company added a number of features to its Motoblur skin for cell phones. The new Media Link software is now available for Mac computers and will ship for PCs in March. It lets users easily transfer multimedia content from iTunes and Windows Media Player onto Motorola handsets.
iOS 4.3 makes gaming references
New code unearthed in iOS 4.3 beta 3 may have shown the first signs of gaming for the Apple TV. Several references exist to "ATVGames" that imply some sort of interactive play. The Engadget tip caught mentions of scheduling, sorting by date and standings, implying a Game Center style ranking.
Users directed to use Flickr's mobile site
Research In Motion has announced that it will no longer offer its native Flickr Uploader app for BlackBerry handsets. The company did not provide a specific reason for the move, though users are directed to take advantage of Flickr's own mobile site for uploads. Users must also manually remove the existing Flickr app from their handset.
Bloggie Touch cameras get Mac software
Sony recently released a software update for its Bloggie Touch HD cameras that will finally allow users to easily manage and upload their photos and videos. The software can be downloaded from Sony's support site and lets users quickly upload content to sites such as Flickr, Picasa, Personal Space, YouTube and Facebook. Before, Mac users had to manually transfer files onto their Macs by clicking and dragging before having to upload to each site manually.
Rogers adds limited time $40 smartphone plan
Canadian wireless and cable provider Rogers has started a new smartphone plans for entry-level smartphones, MobileSyrup reported on Thursday. The promotional plan is called an Exclusive $40 Promo Plan, and has gone into effect on January 25 for a limited, though unknown, amount of time. It requires a three-year contract and includes 200 minutes per month, 100MB of data and unlimited social networking, which grants unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Photobucket and LinkedIn.
Sharp adds 70-inch Quattron LED flagship
Among other debuts, Sharp brought a production-ready 70-inch Quattron-series LED TV to CES this year. It uses Sharp's own Quad Pixel technology that adds yellow to the red, green and blue color gamut. The LC-70LE732U is the largest in the series thus far, outdoing the previous 60-inch flagship.
Flipboard for iPad gets Flickr, Google Reader
Flipboard today updated its iPad app (free, App Store) with Flickr, RSS and a much greater emphasis on two-way interaction. The new photo source gives users images from their Flickr contacts as well as favorites, groups and individual users. RSS comes through Google Reader and lets users filter by folders, shared items and starred items.
Interface makes multi-service uploads a breeze
Reinvented Software, makers of Together and Feeder, has unveiled a new program, called Poster -- a modest, elegant photo and video uploading client to Flickr, Flickr Pro and Facebook. It features some basic functions (rotating and resizing photos before upload), but focuses on letting users view and upload multiple pictures and take advantage of each site's particular strengths.