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Geek News Central
  Updated Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:31:18 +0000
Description Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks
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Massdrop Raises $6.5 million
Category Information, community, financing, Massdrop, Social
Published:
Description: Massdrop have announced that it has raised $6.5 million in a Series A round of financing, led by Mayfield Fund. This new funding brings the company’s total funds raised to about $8 million, which includes existing investors Kleiner Perkins, First Round Capital and Cowboy Ventures. Massdrop will use the cash to fuel its rapid growth and deliver on […]  more...

Massdrop LogoMassdrop have announced that it has raised $6.5 million in a Series A round of financing, led by Mayfield Fund. This new funding brings the company’s total funds raised to about $8 million, which includes existing investors Kleiner Perkins, First Round Capital and Cowboy Ventures. Massdrop will use the cash to fuel its rapid growth and deliver on its vision for a new wave of community-driven commerce.

If you haven’t come across Massdrop before, it’s a bit like a social version of GroupOn. Massdrop supports a range of communities from automotive to in-vogue vaping. A poll product category is put forward and enthusiasts suggest different models in the product category, before everyone votes on their preferred one. For example, there might be a poll for external battery packs with models from Anker, NewTrent, Mophie and Satechi put forward and then voted on. Once there are some top choices, Massdrop approach the vendor(s) to see if they would be interested in a bulk sale, potentially with a range of price points based on volume. If agreeable, the product is put on sale with the different points shown thermometer-style. Purchasers can either buy regardless of price point or else commit to buy when it reaches a particular point.

It’s a cool idea that seems guaranteed to get savings. There are some downsides, the main one being that you have to wait until you get your hands on the product. First, the purchasing window has to close, then the whole shipment is delivered to Massdrop who finally re-ship the individual items. Definitely not for goods you want in hurry, but where it scores is that you potentially get the best product in the class at a good price.

On this basis, it’s not hard to see why Massdrop could be big. It combines the benefits of a crowd-sourced product recommendation site with the power of group purchasing to reduce prices while keeping quality up. For vendors, it’s no longer a race to the bottom; there’s an incentive to make good products.

Further, unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you’re buying a real, existing product and not gambling on the design and manufacture of an unknown product which takes months to deliver.

I think that the financiers have made a canny investment in Massdrop as there’s lots of potential here and I’ll be looking out for a bargain on the site too. What do you think?

Promoted Pins are Coming to Pinterest
Category advertising, Social Media, Pinterest, Promoted Pins
Published:
Description: It was only a matter of time. Pinterest is going to start adding Promoted Pins into their website. This idea has been floating around since May of this year but has not gone into effect across all of Pinterest yet. The Promoted Pins are intended to be “tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on your […]  more...

Pinterest logoIt was only a matter of time. Pinterest is going to start adding Promoted Pins into their website. This idea has been floating around since May of this year but has not gone into effect across all of Pinterest yet. The Promoted Pins are intended to be “tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on your feedback”.

Pinterest is going to update their Privacy Policy on October 19, 2014. You can view what that update will include right now. These changes will only affect Pinterest users in the United States.

There are changes coming to how Pinterest uses the data it collects from Pinners. Most notably, they will start showing users ads that “you might be interested in”. Another change says: “Online advertisers typically use third party companies to audit the delivery and performance of their ads on websites and apps. We also allow these companies to collect this information on Pinterest”.

Would you like to opt-out of having Pinterest share your information with online advertisers? They suggest that you can do that by opting-out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s Browser Opt-Out Add-On. Or, you can change your account settings by shifting two boxes from “Yes” to “No”.

Opt Out of Promoted Pins

Pinterest notes a few things you should be aware of. The Promoted Pins can include “a pixel or similar technology” that can be used by companies to find out how well their Promoted Tweets are doing.

GNC #980 T-Minus 20
Category Podcast
Published:
Description: It’s not all mobile news today. A great mix of tech, science and even a little Pink Floyd. Enjoy the podcast! A big than you to all our new GNC 1000 Supporters. Support the upcoming National Podcast Day. Note: I am looking for a couple of additional writers here at Geek News Central reach out […]  more...

It’s not all mobile news today. A great mix of tech, science and even a little Pink Floyd. Enjoy the podcast! A big than you to all our new GNC 1000 Supporters. Support the upcoming National Podcast Day. Note: I am looking for a couple of additional writers here at Geek News Central reach out by email if your are interested.

Become a GNC 1000 Listener Today!:

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Listener Links:
The Highline.
Apple being Called out.
SSL Man in the Middle Attack.

Show Notes:
Prototype T-1000 Liquid Metal.
8320 Earbuds.
Comcast says we have plenty of competition?
Don’t be an Idiot and do this.
New Jersey goes after MIT Students.
Kim Dotcom party fails.
No Return for your iPhone 6+ now!
Self Driving all of California.
Pay for Delay targeted by FTC.
YouTube top for TV.
Pink Floyd Update.
Wink Connected.
Roca Labs Idiotic Policy under Attack.
SSD 10 Year Warranty.
Smashing an iPhone 6.
Maven Enters Orbit of Mars.
10 Million Phones Sold.
iOS 8 and your Battery.
iPhone 6 Benchmarks Rock.
More iPhone Destruction.
iOS 8 Crash Rate Up.
You can Still Downgrade.
New Skype Mobile Awesome.
Office 365 Students Free.
Playstation TV headed to US.
Type C USB to carry Video Signal.
Space Elevator.
Pirate Bay Server Layout.
Alibaba Stock is it worth it.
Beats not going Anywhere.
Airlines Explain Net Neutrality.
Used Car Dealer Scam.

Creators Must Complete Their Kickstarter Projects
Category service, kickstarter
Published:
Description: Kickstarter has updated its terms of use to emphasize that those who use Kickstarter to fund their project must actually, you know, complete the project. Creators are also expected to fulfill each reward. It is only after a creator has done so that they’ve satisfied their obligation to their backers. Of course, this is referring […]  more...

Kickstarter logoKickstarter has updated its terms of use to emphasize that those who use Kickstarter to fund their project must actually, you know, complete the project. Creators are also expected to fulfill each reward. It is only after a creator has done so that they’ve satisfied their obligation to their backers. Of course, this is referring to projects that have been fully funded by backers (not the ones that didn’t raise enough to get fully funded).

A key point is that the creator of a project has a legal obligation to the people who back the project on Kickstarter. Unsatisfied backers can potentially take legal action against a creator who raised funds but never produced the product. This isn’t new, it is simply being pointed out in an extremely clear way.

The new terms of use clarify the obligations that creators have to their backers. If a creator of a fully funded project fails to complete the project and fulfill rewards, they are required to “make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers”.

They are also going to be held accountable in other ways. Creators who are unable to complete their project must post an update that explains what work has been completed, how the funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned. Other requirements include being able to demonstrate that they used the funds appropriately and that they made every reasonable effort to complete the project on time. This would be helpful in situations where a person had something tragic and unexpected happen that prevented them from finishing the project.

It also sounds to me like an attempt to ward off scammers. One cannot simply create a Kickstarter account, and then abscond with the money after the project is fully funded, without producing the product. I believe these new terms of use are a push for honesty and transparency from the people who use Kickstarter to fundraise a project that they are hoping to create.

Leuchtturm1917 v Moleskine Notebooks
Category review, Leuchtturm, Moleskine, notebook, paper, writing
Published:
Description: For all today’s gadgets, there’s a great deal still to be said for pen and paper. It’s cheap, reliable and you don’t need to worry about the battery life. Setting those practicalities aside, I find great pleasure in a beautiful notebook and a fine fountain pen, though my handwriting still leaves much to be desired. […]  more...

For all today’s gadgets, there’s a great deal still to be said for pen and paper. It’s cheap, reliable and you don’t need to worry about the battery life. Setting those practicalities aside, I find great pleasure in a beautiful notebook and a fine fountain pen, though my handwriting still leaves much to be desired. I’m not a alone in this pleasure with a resurgence in paper notebooks and the legendary Moleskine has pushed to the fore. Is it the best? Here we have two lined notebooks, one from Leuchtturm1917  and the other from Moleskine – let’s take a look and find out.

Leuchtturm1917 and Moleskine Notebooks

Both Moleskine and Leuchtturm draw on their heritage. Moleskine’s dates back into the early 20th Century name-checking Picasso, van Gogh and Hemingway. Although originally French, it died out in the 1980s, only to be resurrected in the late 90s by an Italian publisher. On the other hand, Leuchtturm goes back to 1917 (hence Leuchtturm1917) with roots in Hamburg, Germany and a reputation for stamp collecting albums, which continues today. These stories are laid out by both companies in small cream folded inserts that accompany each book. The message is clear; you aren’t buying only a notebook, you are continuing the traditions of culture, history and travel.

Physically both notebooks are very similar but there are subtle and useful differences. I’d call them medium or A5-sized notebooks though strictly the Moleskine isn’t wide enough for A5. Both are 21 cm tall with hardcovers but the Moleskine is only 13 cm compared with the the Leuchtturm‘s 14.5 cm. Each has an elastic enclosure band, page marker and an expandable pocket inside the back cover. They also come in wide range of colours and pair well with 7″ tablets, such as the Nexus 7.

Leuchtturm1917 Moleskine

Opening the notebooks shows that both have lined pages with the same line spacing, but with the Moleskine, that’s about it. Although both have an Owner page at the front, the Leuchtturm goes further with three Contents pages and each page is numbered for easy reference. In addition, there are eight perforated pages towards the back that can be removed, along with some stickers to assist with archiving once the notebook is full. The Leuchtturm1917 is for those who want to be organised! “Datum / Date” is printed at the top of each page too, which may put people off but suits me fine.

Ink BleedBoth notebooks have lovely paper which is a joy to write on with pencil and ballpoint. However, the Moleskine has a problem with pen ink bleeding from one side to the other, particularly with black ink, which makes the Leuchtturm a better choice for fountain pen writers.

Overall, both the Moleskine and the Leuchtturm are stylish notebooks with a great feel both in the hand and under the pen. For me as a fountain pen owner, the Leuchtterm wins out by default, but the contents pages and page numbering make it my choice for those reasons too. Pencil owners and people looking for something a little neater may prefer the Moleskine. Whichever you choose, you’ll never go back.

Available from all good stationery retailers, the Leuchtturm1917 retails for around GB£13 with the Moleskine for a few pounds less.

GNC #979 Apple Locks out the Law
Category Podcast
Published:
Description: In what can only be described as a bold move, Apple has locked out law enforcement from being able to access data on any device running iOS 8. I have to give them kudos for doing this as I think it has taken the legal folks by surprise. It was a decisive move to bring […]  more...

In what can only be described as a bold move, Apple has locked out law enforcement from being able to access data on any device running iOS 8. I have to give them kudos for doing this as I think it has taken the legal folks by surprise. It was a decisive move to bring some sanity back to privacy and our lives. I also discuss selling Podcast Awards and what that means to this audience.

Consider becoming a GNC 1000 Contributor:

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Support our Show Sponsor:
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1.49 .com New or Renewal geek149
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Listener Links:
Texting Radar Gun.

Show Notes:
Apple and Locking out Law Enforcement.
iPhone 6 Plus Video Demo (Incredible).
Did a Black Hole create our Sun?
Woz See You Later Android.
14% in 24hrs.
Phony Cell Towers.
Speed makes us Lean.
Privacy = Pirates?
FCC 4MBPS is not going to cut it.
Winning Astronomy Image.
Google Tracking.
Google “Active Watching Patent
Nexus 9 Coming?
EFF Who ha your Back?
80% Savings on Fossil Fuels.
Office Building acting as Heat Exchange.
Apple Secret Media Format.
Uber Killing Cabs :)
Verizon Open Please!!
Wakie.
Is Mocking Yelp a Good Idea?
Healthcare Meltdown Emails.
Dark Mater Detected?
Android Encrypted?
MyGlass App Updated iOS.
Windows 9 Build.
iDrive Value.
25 iOS 8 Tips.
Keyboards for iOS 8.
Fix Annoyances with iOS 8.
More iOS 8 Keyboards.
iOS 8 Widgets.
BAMS Longest Flight.
Self Driving Tesla in 6 Years.
TwitPic not closing.
Alibaba 21.8 Billion.
New TLD Auction Amounts.
YouTube Talent Funding 100 Million.
Net Neutrality Comment Breakdowns.
Galaxy 4 Launch.

Robot Underpants: 09.17.14 (170) “You Too?”
Category underpants
Published:
Description: Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice and “Starman” Michael Gaines discuss this week’s hot topics including: iOS8, Minecraft, U2, Podcast trolls, and more! * Groot Texts * Liam and Bono Movie * Dan Akroyd’s Next Ghostbusters Plan * Tiny Radio * “Vacation” Movie News * Back to the Future Shoes for $99 *Tronify Thread  more...

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice and “Starman” Michael Gaines discuss this week’s hot topics including: iOS8, Minecraft, U2, Podcast trolls, and more!

* Groot Texts
* Liam and Bono Movie
* Dan Akroyd’s Next Ghostbusters Plan
* Tiny Radio
* “Vacation” Movie News
* Back to the Future Shoes for $99
*Tronify Thread

Using NFC For The First Time
Category Apple, NFC, Apple Pay, communication, credit card, electronic, field, Google Wallet, McDonald's, near, payment
Published:
Description: NFC, short for Near Field Communication, is a technological set of standards that has been around for several years. Many Android phones have come equipped with NFC chips for several years. Some retailers along with fast food outlets such as McDonald’s support NFC transactions on every credit card reader. My first NFC-enabled phone was a […]  more...

NFC.pndNFC, short for Near Field Communication, is a technological set of standards that has been around for several years. Many Android phones have come equipped with NFC chips for several years. Some retailers along with fast food outlets such as McDonald’s support NFC transactions on every credit card reader.

My first NFC-enabled phone was a Galaxy S3, but I never felt compelled to even give it a try. For some reason I made the completely erroneous assumption that if I paid with my phone via NFC it would be charged to my phone bill.

Since Apple is now supporting NFC with the introduction of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones, I decided I would give NFC a try on my Note 3 using Google Wallet.

I already had a Google Wallet account because I have bought apps via the Google Playstore. I have also used Google Wallet to purchase hotel rooms via online booking.

To use NFC, I installed the Google Wallet app on my phone. I authorized the app to tie to my existing Google Wallet account. I authorized the Google Wallet app to use my existing debit card by setting up a pin number inside the Google Wallet app. Next I went into the phone settings to turn on the integrated NFC radio chip.

I used NFC for the first time today at a McDonald’s in Shelby, Iowa. When it came time to pay, I simply turned the phone screen on and held the phone against the top of the McDonald’s credit card reader where there’s a sort of sideways WiFi-like symbol. It’s not even necessary to start up the app – that happens completely automatically. It popped up on my phone screen asking me to input my Google Wallet pin number, and the transaction was quickly completed. The McDonald’s order-taker and his manager were astonished!

It automatically debited my bank account. My existing bank debit card remained in my wallet.

As nearly as I can tell, the Apple Pay version of NFC differs from Google Wallet and other NFC payment schemes in that the Apple Pay app only works on NFC-enabled iPhones. The iPhone 6 finger print reader substitute’s for the pin number.

It is possible to pay using Google Wallet in two basic ways – either have it pay via a selected debit or credit card, or set up a Google Wallet cash card that you can transfer money into and out of. With the Google Wallet cash card it is possible to email money to anyone with an email address, which would require them to set up a Google Wallet account in case they don’t already have one set up.

Will I use NFC again? I certainly will. I’m constantly on the road and I find myself eating at McDonald’s and other fast food outlets far more than I’d like. So long as an NFC terminal is set up and I would be paying with my bank debit card, I will try utilizing NFC instead.

Perhaps now that Apple is putting its marketing, educational, and PR muscle behind NFC it will finally have a chance to catch on. If nothing else it’s worth it just to see the amazed reactions of the store clerks!

Read An eBook Day
Category amazon, Android, Apple, application, Barnes & Noble, ebook, iOS, IPAD, Kindle, Microsoft, Nook, smartphone, Sony, tablet, app, ereader, IOS, Kobo, OverDrive, Tablet, Windows
Published:
Description: Just in case you were going to miss it, Thursday is “Read an a eBook Day“, a celebration of modern storytelling. Surprisingly, it’s not sponsored by Amazon on behalf of the Kindle but rather OverDrive whose apps let you borrow library books for free. Yes, for free. It’s probably one of the best keep secrets in […]  more...

Read an ebook dayJust in case you were going to miss it, Thursday is “Read an a eBook Day“, a celebration of modern storytelling. Surprisingly, it’s not sponsored by Amazon on behalf of the Kindle but rather OverDrive whose apps let you borrow library books for free. Yes, for free.

It’s probably one of the best keep secrets in the whole tablet and ereader business. Contrary to what Amazon would  have you believe, you don’t have to buy ebooks from them as there are plenty of up-to-date novels available from your local library. The downside is that transferring books isn’t that slick and you need an ereader that’s not tied in to the Amazon ecosystem. I have a Nook, but ereaders from Sony and Kobo are supported as well, and you need to load the books via a PC rather than downloading across the Net.

If you have tablet, it’s much easier as the OverDrive app is available for iOS, Android, Kindle and Windows Phone, as well as for Windows and Mac desktop platforms. Check the appropriate app store or else try OverDrive‘s web site. Once you have the app, all that’s needed is a membership of a library and you can download directly from your library to your tablet.

Instead of “Read an eBook Day”, Thursday should be “Read a Free eBook from your Local Library Day”.

Podcast Awards Acquired by New Media Expo
Category Information
Published:
Description: As Founder of the Podcast Awards, I want to announce some exciting news. After some thought, I’ve made the decision to sell The Podcast Awards to New Media Expo and their team. I made this decision as Rick and his team have been so involved with us over the past few years. It has been […]  more...


As Founder of the Podcast Awards, I want to announce some exciting news. After some thought, I’ve made the decision to sell The Podcast Awards to New Media Expo and their team. I made this decision as Rick and his team have been so involved with us over the past few years.

It has been my absolute pleasure to create and run the awards for the past 9 years, giving podcasters a platform to be recognized. All of this would not have been possible without the support of the podcasting community, and the podcasters that supported the show financially. I will be forever grateful for their participation.

Over the past couple of years, New Media Expo has been instrumental in our Awards Ceremony’s success. I feel certain that the NMX team is ready to take The Podcast Awards to the next level.

Of course, I am not disappearing. I will have a founders’ role and will advise the NMX team in the development and production of the 10th annual event, April 14th in Las Vegas, NV. While Rick and his team will likely make some changes along the way, the spirit of the Peoples Choice Awards will still remain, with the nominees and winners being selected by the listeners, fans and podcasters.

See you at the 10th Annual Podcast Awards

Todd

See New Media Expo Comment

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