TechnologyTell

Create stunning photos for holiday cards with these mobile apps

Get ahead of your game this year by sending out photo holiday cards to friends and family. Here are five mobile apps to transform images into masterpieces.

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Skype for Web getting plugin-free messages

Microsoft is updating Skype for Web in order to make text, voice, and video messages available without any plugin downloads. Most core Skype features are available in the browser version of the service, but up until now, Skype for Web has relied on plugins for messaging. Beginning today, the service has instant messaging built-in without any downloads required.

Chinese firewall now blocking iCloud

The firewall in China is one of the largest and most advanced in the world, and it has now turned towards iCloud to block connections to the Apple cloud service. A report from Great Fire, a watchdog organization that monitors the Chinese firewall, says the government began blocking iCloud connections last night. Most users are also being rerouted to a fake Apple-like site that could be used to collect login details.

Foursquare boasts 55M users, launches first ads

An outdoor advertising campaign from Judd Branding has launched in New York and Chicago for Foursquare. This is the first time Foursquare has come out with an advertising campaign. Foursquare has announced it is also at 55 million users, whereas the last time it released user statistics the company reported just 50 million users.

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Starfish app lets parents know when they left their kid in the car

You hear it on the news way too often: A parent left his or her toddler locked in the car with the windows up on a broiling hot day, just so the parent can run into a bar or casino or supermarket. What if there were an app that reminded them that they are a terrible parent and they better fix the situation immediately? That’s where an ingenious new sensor/app combo, Starfish, comes in.

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Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft targeted for fat-shaming apps

In yet another example of how mean-spirited our culture can be, there is apparently a glut of fat-shaming apps available on app stores, no doubt created by some of the most vile brogrammers among us. One organization is saying enough.

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Why isn’t there a Shazam for bird songs?

“What species of bird is that,” I often wonder when I hear their songs. Followed by, “Why isn’t there a Shazam for bird calls?” Why can’t I launch an app, hold my cellphone up, and have it tell me if I am hearing a warbler or a sparrow, a thrush or a grosbeak? Turns out, scientists are working on it. We spoke to one of them.

Google adds Now reminders to Google.com

Google Now reminders will now be accessible through the primary Google website. As a result of the expansion of Now reminders, users will be able to create reminders from within the search engine rather than from within Now. By typing in a reminder-like command in the search box, you can add reminders to the service. For the new feature to work, you must type in a command such as “remind me to pick up groceries at 3 pm.”

Game of Thrones breaks piracy record

Another torrenting record has been broken by the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’. The show broke records last year with its third season, and the same thing has taken place with Season 4. The Season 4 finale aired on Sunday and has since resulted in millions of illegal downloads from torrent websites. TorrentFreak says that in the first 12 hours following the airing of the episode, the GoT episode was downloaded 1.5 million times. Within the coming days, that number is expected to reach 7.5 million or more.

Headspace version two launches worldwide

In an international culture that is in many ways over-stimulated and over-worked, things like meditation are being turned to more frequently by young tech-savvy people as a way to connect with something less material or at least de-stress. One of the tech companies leading the way in the push for meditation is Headspace.

Any.do launches full-fledged web app

Any.do has already become one of the most popular task managing applications for iOS and Android but outside of a Chrome extension, there aren’t many ways to use it on a regular computer. To fix that and add overall functionality to the service, a web version of Any.do has now been launched that includes support for a full-screen interface.

Shazam takes out Spotify integration for UK users

When Shazam updated its UK application so that support for tagging and playing in Deezer could be added no one expected that it would do the opposite for Spotify, which is utiilized by many of Shazam’s users. People may not have expected it but the free version of Shazam in the UK no longer appears to work with Spotify. Previously, users could tag songs and they would be opened in the music streaming service but now Deezer has seemingly replaced Spotify.