Posts Tagged ‘app’
Facebook are launching a virtual assistant, that basically is a rip-off of Siri. It’ll also have support from real humans in a call centre somewhere, but basically, it is another thing you can talk to and it will respond accordingly.
This thing will be called Facebook M, and will work within Facebook’s Messenger app. This being FB, you can assume that these things are a wonderful tool for gathering all manner of data on people, which can then be sold for huge sums of money.
Anyway, what does David Marcus from Facebook have to say about it all? He said: “M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf. It’s powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by people.”
“Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more.”
There’s no date given for a rollout and indeed, it is still being tested.
In Wired, there is more information: “Facebook’s M trainers have customer service backgrounds. They make the trickier judgement calls, and perform other tasks that software can’t. If you ask M to plan a birthday dinner for your friend, the software might book the Uber and the restaurant, but a person might surprise your friend at the end of the night by sending over birthday cupcakes from her favourite bakery.”
So there you go. Fancy letting Facebook be your party planner? That’s if your phone has enough memory on it to cope with yet another pissing update from this shower.
Well, aren’t you in luck, you hooting posho? Yes you are. That’s because the taxi/delivery service Gett, has launched a service that will allow London sorts to get champagne to their door. Naturally, this isn’t available to everyone in London.
You’ll have to live in Knightsbridge, Chelsea, The City, Belgravia, Chelsea, Kensington, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, if you want in on all this.
The fizz will be supplied by Amathus and you can get deliveries within 10 minutes of ordering.
So whether you’ve used up all the champers by bathing in it while on the phone to your favourite oil baron, or whether you’ve been pouring it down the drain with your oligarch mates just to annoy some poor people, you’ll be able to get some more booze in with a few taps on an app.
For £50, you’ll be able to get a bottle of Veuve Clicquot with a couple of flutes, but sadly, it will be delivered by a working class person on a motorbike, so you might have to shake hands or make eye-contact with a commoner. JOLLY GOOD, BALLY SPIFFING SOMETHING OR OTHER OLD CHAP, etc.
The preposterously wealthy Nat Rothschild has unleashed a new app for London that allows you to book individual seats in shared black cab journeys. Sounds like a taxi service, but in fact, we’re assured that it is a ‘door-to-door public transport network’.
It is called Maaxi and wants to make riding in black cabs cheaper. Or, if you prefer, maximising your money in a taxi, hence the name. Of course, there’s going to be a few safety concerns for those who don’t like the idea of sharing a cab with some strangers.
That said, Maaxi does require all users to sign-up with a UK address, which is their way of trying to make the thing safer. This is a kick in the pants if you’re a visitor from overseas. Customers can order female-only (or male-only) fares if they prefer.
Once you’ve signed-up, via the app, you are matched through a departures board screen which will show you the details of both the taxi availability and where the taxi wants to go, and price and all that. Other people can jump-in your cab en route.
Or, you could just stand on the street and wave your arm about and ignore all this nonsense. It is available to download now, if you like making taxi rides slightly complicated.
Despite the laws made against them, the biggest threat to their business could be Google.
A while ago, Google Ventures – the internet giant’s venture capital wing – invested huge sums in Uber (in advance of $250m) and it looked like they were keeping an eye on it, and thinking about an eventual takeover. David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development, joined the Uber board of directors and is still there.
However, rumours abound that Google might be rivals, rather than the boss of Uber with mutterings that they’re preparing their own taxi app service. It has been reported that Uber have been told of this and that there’s even been screenshots of Google’s rumoured taxi hailing app.
If Google are successful in making cars that drive themselves, then they could also end up with a fleet of autonomous taxis, which is very futuristic.
That all said, Google are currently denying all this, after firing off a tweet which said: “We think you’ll find Uber and Lyft work quite well. We use them all the time.”
That’s not going to stop these rumours though.
While Uber’s app is synced up with Google Maps software, Google will be aware that there’s huge amounts of money to be made from a service like this. Uber came from nowhere and is now one of the world’s biggest startups, valued at $40 billion and operating in over 54 countries. Some people don’t trust the Uber brand yet, but with Google branding, they just might.
Have you got a load of bad habits? Silly question. Bitterwallet readers are the most debauched ne’er-do-wells on the internet. Do you want to do anything about those habits? On the incredibly slim chance that you do, then you’re in for a shock.
You can get yourself a Pavlok wristband which will electrocute you in a bid to stop you eating too much or whacking one off in front of The One Show.
The electrifying bracelet has raised around £160,000 through crowdfunding thing, Indiegogo, which is well in advance of what they were asking for initially. You can pre-order one for $199.99 (which is around £130) and will be released in 2015.
The producers are calling it the “personal coach on your wrist” and it will give you an electric shock and, it goes without saying, certain Bitterwallet readers will be thinking of new, dirty bad habits they can do with a electrified strap.
You get an app with the wristband. One is an alarm clock that will jolt you out of bed in a morning. Another is called ‘Productive’, which keeps tabs on your internet habits and if you start dossing off work, you’ll get volts in your arm. The last is called ‘Fit’, which presumably will give you a shock when you stop running or something.
It’ll be open-source too, so you can integrate it with other apps and do what you like with it. You can also set it up so friends can send electricity through your limbs for whatever reason.
The Pavlok website refers to itself in grandiose terms that would make Kanye blush: “Pavlok doesn’t just track what you do – it transforms who you are. You’ll wish you had started today.”
The company say that you can also set it up so that the Pavlok will “shock you when you text your ex-lover” or “beep loudly any time you step inside of a McDonald’s”.
So there you have it. You can turn yourself into one of Pavlov’s dogs (hence the product name) by electro-shocking yourself to change your habits. Marvellous. Please don’t send us the videos you make where you’ve got 5 Pavloks crammed into your undercrackers.
Are you the kind of person who prefers to look at your own arse in the mirror while you’re having sex? Well, LIVE IN THE NOW as someone has come up with an app for Google Glass so you can check yourself out while on the job.
The app is called Glance which captures the viewpoint of your partner, you fantastically vain swine. Of course, this isn’t all about you. If you and your partner like filming yourself whilst knocking your uglies together, then you can both do a movie and play them back side-by-side.
Basically, you can now truly see what your partner has to put up with during your grunting sweatfests.
What happens is that you pop on your Google Glass(es) and say ominously: “Okay glass, it’s time.” The app will then stream the footage. For the full experience, you’ll need a pair of Google specs each. Amusingly, to stop the footage, you need to say “Okay glass, pull out.”
The creators said: “Glance let’s you see two different perspectives, seamlessly. It changes the way you experience something personal. Like sex. Having sex with Glance brings a completely new perspective.”
The inventors also said that they’re very concerned about you and your partner’s privacy and that they won’t host the videos anywhere and that you’ll be the only people to own a copy. Of course, if you store it on a cloud service, that could all go out the window. Either way, the app database won’t store anything and the footage will be on your phone only.
The next ‘Fappening’ is going to be interesting isn’t it?
The Samaritans have created a new free app that detects signs of worry among your circle. The app watches Twitter for any indication of people having a shitty time and struggling to cope, and will send out a message to people to check their chum’s wellbeing.
It is hoped that the Samaritans Radar app will give people a “second chance to see potentially worrying Tweets, which might have otherwise been missed”.
It operates with Twitter’s API and searches messages for specific keywords and phrases that could point to the tweeter having issues. These phrases include: “tired of being alone”, “hate myself”, “depressed”, “help me” and “need someone to talk to.”
Of course if someone’s “Jam” is Al Green’s ‘Tired Of Being Alone’ then it probably will dismiss that.
It then sends email alerts to the user – basically a more professional approach to uokhun? – and will offer advice and help. To sign up to the service, which is a web app, users need only to visit the Samaritans Radar website and enter their details.
Samaritans acknowledges that social media is increasingly being used as an outlet for people to share their feelings.
It also marks the start of a wider collaboration with Samaritans which includes a referral process: when somebody gets reported as suicidal, the Twitter “Trust & Safety team” verifies the report and if they deem it accurate they get in touch with both the reported and the reported account, to share recommendations and contact information for Samaritans.
Obviously don’t just rely on posting pass/agg messages about hating yourself and wanting to die. Especially during X Factor, as it won’t stand a chance.
Nosee is a prototype sensor that is always on the look out for high pollen counts, wherever you happen to be.
It sends information about air quality and sneeze risk to an app, and if you can see it for all that mucus, you’ll know whether to stay indoors with a wet towel over your head.
Nosee is being developed by a digital design company in Birmingham called 383, and it uses a simple traffic light style system to warn you of an attack of the face squits.
It also asks you to tell it how you’re feeling: Sneezy, Itchy, Scratchy, Runny…(and all those others who failed the audition for the Seven Dwarves).
You can put Nosee outside, and it combines local air quality readings with pollen count data and weather forecasts from the Met Office, giving you more tailored and specific information about your personal pollen hell.
‘The daily pollen forecasts issued by the Met Office paint the country with broad strokes either of high, medium or low scores, but it’s often specific locations or pollen types that cause the most irritating effects,’ says a spokesman for 383.
But what actually is Nosee? Is it an app? Is it a hand-held pollen thermostat? Well, as it’s a prototype, at the moment it could be anything. They think a Snotwatch would be nice, but maybe it would be more useful to embed the sensor into a hanky?
Imagine, you’re slumbering happily, and then suddenly you wake up to a message on your phone from some mysterious dobber/s calling themselves ‘Oleg Pliss’, telling you you’ve been hacked. Not only that, but your phone will be locked until you pay them a ransom of $100 via Paypal.
Well, this is what happened to Apple users across Australia in the early hours of Tuesday morning, who found themselves phoneless and iPad-less thanks to the hackers. Some were woken to alerts in the night, and others, when they came to use their devices, found that they were locked.
So who, or what, is Oleg Pliss, and how did they manage to lock random devices across a whole country? Well, users reported a breach of the ‘Find My Phone’ app – which means they could have accessed devices through the iCloud and then set them to ‘lost mode’.
Or if they users had the same passwords across a number of devices, that might explain it, too. But at the moment, nobody knows.
As for who Oleg is, there are a few theories – there’s a guy called Oleg Pliss who works as a software engineer at tech company Oracle, and a few dotted about on Linkedin in Ukraine and Russia.
Unfortunately, victims of the hacking have reported getting short shrift from Apple and mobile providers. And apparently Vodafone told one customer that ‘Apple can’t be hacked.’ (Hmm, REALLY?).
Apple have yet to comment, probably because they have no idea how Oleg and his pals actually did it…
This weekend, you may have seen a load of taxis doing the rounds, with ‘Uber’ branding on them. They’re doing a big push to get our attentions, directing us toward their new service which is Taxis For The Mobile Generation.
Basically, you download an app and you can request a ride on your phone as well as being able to split your fare, get a quote, rate drivers and read reviews and more. It’s a new way of getting a cab and, the other taxi drivers are not at all happy about it.
Uber allows drivers to start their own businesses without all the training and and licenses and you detect a driver’s whereabouts thanks to GPS and the driver comes to find you by using the GPS on your phone. No money changes hands either - once you complete your journey, the fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file and you get a receipt emailed to you.
It has been reported that over 10,000 London taxi drivers are planning a mass protest over Uber, with Steve McNamara – the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association’s general secretary – saying that the problem with the app is that it allows drivers to work as a taxi without having to follow the same rules as other services, which gives them an unfair advantage.
He says: “All we’re saying is if you want to come to London and operate the business model you’re operating, you should operate within our laws.”
“For me to persuade 10,000 guys to take a day off work shows you the strength of feeling,” he added. “They’re not a commercial threat to us. It’s a sense of fair play.”
Over in France, they weren’t happy about Uber either, with Francois Hollande going after them (unsuccessfully) and cabbies staging a protest where they blocked traffic from airports. In Belgium, those using the app are subject to a €10,000 fine.
This is definitely going to be something that people will disagree on. On one hand, it does seem unfair that the UK’s existing cab drivers had to get licenses and meters and all that, with this new lot not having to bother. On the other hand, taxi firms already feel a bit lawless as it is, so how would Uber be any different for the consumer?
What do you think?
If you’ve got a mobile and you want to send cash to any bank account, a new secure payment system called Paym can do it for you –without the need for sort codes or fiddly account numbers.
According to the Payments Council, Paym (like, you know ‘PAY ‘EM’) will be available to 40m banking custiomers very soon and will be integrated into banking apps. All the information you’ll need to complete a payment will be the person’s phone number.
So if you’re a Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Halifax. HSBC, Lloyds, Santander or TSB customer, you can be one of the 30 million people who can start using PayM. Then later on in the year, it will be available to Clydesdale Bank, First Direct, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Yorkshire Bank.
It’s expected that the service will be used to make small payments, like repaying your mate that tenner you borrowed for a lapdance/kebab, but the daily limit will be £250.
Adrian Kamellard from the Payments Council said: ‘Paym will enable millions of people to pay securely using just a mobile number from spring this year. In a world where many of us are inseparable from our phones, it’s readily believable that more than one billion of these payments could be made in the next five years.’
It’s readily believable alright, Adrian!
Of course, Pingit from Barclays has been doing this for a while, but Paym has much a wider range of customers. There’s also Zapp, which will launch in the Autumn and allow you to pay bills with your mobile.
Which is all very well, but can someone think of some better names for these things? Paym, Pingit and Zapp sound like aliens in rubbish Cbeebies programme.
Are you completely neurotic about your health? Well, join the growing army of the worried well who are using technology to plan, plot and monitor every breath with this new iPhone case from Azoi.
We’ve seen enough wearable health tech in recent months to clog up landfills for millions of years, but this is the first phone CASE that can check your blood pressure while you’re on the move.
The Wello case looks like an ordinary, boring black phone protector, but inside there are multi-purpose sensors that can accurately measure your ECG, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen and lung function.
It’s a must for health freaks or just people with an abnormally high rate of self-absorption.
All you need to do is hold it in your hand, wait a minute and see whether it flashes red and starts beeping the Funeral March. (Actually, your readings are transferred to an app, which you can show to the doctor when you arrive at A&E, clutching your chest.)
The Wello case is out this summer and will cost £120 – which would probably be better spent on pies because you’re going to DIE ANYWAY.
As if Google Glass isn’t daft enough – now it seems that a young developer is hellbent on making you look daft while you’re having sex, too.
A new app called Sex With Glass, which is being created by randy Central St Martin’s student Sherif Maktabi, is intended for use during the act of love. All you have to do is say ‘OK, Glass, it’s time’ and Glass will stream what you’re seeing to each other. When you want to stop, you just say ‘OK, Glass, pull out.’
WHAT A TURN ON, EH?
As well as swapping each other’s viewpoints, you can also watch the whole grunting, unattractive extravaganza afterwards with a bag of popcorn, but the movie will be deleted forever after five hours, so no Kim Kardashian sex tape for you. The app also allows you to control mood lighting if your lighting system is wifi connected.
If you want to peer at your own flabby bits on your goggle telly instead of actually experiencing all the fun in Triple X real life 3D, then that’s up to you. But it seems that the app could be an exercise in futility for people who aren’t self-absorbed, show off sex people. I mean, do you really want to have your coitus interrupted by anguished cries of ‘Oh my God, my arse is really hairy’?
Hmm, thanks, but no thanks, technology.