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Red Cross Mobile Apps: Preparing You For Emergencies

Life is very much unpredictable. Most of the time, we are faced with challenges whenever we least expect them. As such, it pays a lot to be always prepared to face anything life throws against us. Surely, there have been a number of instances wherein we were faced with adversity or emergency and we did not have a clue on how to handle situation.

To remedy this, the American Red Cross has developed a slew of Tools and Resources packaged inside their Disaster and Safety Library to help you in preparing your home, school and workplace in the event of a disaster or emergency. Here, we highlight the six free mobile apps they are promoting and how they could be of great help in preparing us for the days ahead. Although some are only applicable for the United States and its territories, these should still be helpful for you and your loved ones here and abroad. 

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Water-proof everything with NeverWet!

For people like me who has invested a lot on their gadgets and smartphones, we could get a bit anxious and paranoid about having our stuff wet whenever we go near a swimming pool or whenever we hangout near the beach. Worse, most of the time, people nowadays tend to bring their gizmos anywhere, even in the bathroom, thus increasing the chances of slipping them onto a wet surface and making them really expensive paper weight.

Luckily for us, the folks at NeverWet have developed an interesting new product that completely repels water and heavy oils. The NeverWet technology, dubbed as super hydrophobic coating, boasts about five key applications: Anti-wetting, anti-icing, anti-corrosion, anti-bacterial and self-cleaning. Basically, this means any object coated with it literally can’t be touched by any liquid, making it virtually 100% waterproof! You don’t believe me? See the video below!

Unbelievably great, isn’t it? Imagine what this technology could do should they become mainstream. Shirts would never be stained during meals, shoes would never need cleaning or brushing, and your oh-so-beloved iPhone can now easily double as an underwater camera without any case! Man, I can’t wait until this technology comes to our shores…

NeverWet is backed by Ross Nanotechnology, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ross Technology Corporation. Ross Technology Corporation has been in business since 1962 and occupies four separate plants in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Sony Launches Next Generation SmartWatch 2

Last Tuesday, Sony introduced its next generation smart watch: the Sony SmartWatch 2. Marketed to be an alternative means of viewing information from your Android smartphone, the smart watch features NFC connectivity and water resistance, among a slew of other noteworthy features. It can also be personalized with many different apps based on how you would want to utilize the device.

According to Stefan Persson, Head of Companion Products at Sony Mobile Communications,Sony is in a unique position when it comes to the technology, being literally generations away from the competition. He says in a press release:

“Competitors are only now launching first-generation devices, while we are already launching a third-generation device with all the insight gained from over half a million customers combined with Sony’s wealth of technology expertise to create the best ever smart-watch experience.

“We have over 200 unique apps dedicated for Sony SmartWatch, with over one million downloads to date, and we are continuing to work with our strong developer network to deliver ever more compelling smart-watch experiences.”

These experiences include the ability to answer calls by touching your wrist, take photos with your phone remotely via the SmartWatch and control presentations remotely using Sony’s “Presentation Pal.”

A number of the other key features of the SmartWatch 2 are caller ID display, calendar entries, and Twitter and Facebook integration. Worldwide release of the Sony SmartWatch 2 is slated this coming September, with pricing yet to be announced.

Lazada celebrates its 1st birthday with $100M funding and its first mobile app

Lazada, arguably one of the biggest online retailers in Southeast Asia, just celebrated its first year anniversary with a bang. Joining existing investors Holtzbrinck Ventures, Kinnevik, Summit Partners and Tengelmann Group, Verlinvest, a Belgian holding company, invests an additional $100M into the website’s parent company in Germany.

After only a year since its introduction, Lazada just surpassed 1M online orders. This is where Verlinvest Chairman Frédéric de Mevius gets his confidence in the venture. According to him, “we are thrilled to join Lazada as a partner of Rocket Internet and an investor, the company’s scale and achievements after only one year of operations are highly impressive. Given the management’s track record and the region’s macro outlook we are very confident in Lazada’s future.”

A large chunk of the Verlinvest funding will be used to further improve delivery time and customer satisfaction with the company. To accomplish this, Lazada will be investing in its IT infrastructure in the foreseeable future. Complementing this strategy is the company’s announcement of its new mobile application to provide its customers a fast and intuitive shopping experience even on-the-go. Already available in Android and coming soon in iOS, the app uses an advanced internal search engine to allow users to explore products by categories, brands, price and more. Using the app, customers are able to discover amazing deals and discount vouchers to use, not to mention exclusive updates on special promos and offerings.

For Android phone users, you may download the app from the Google Play Store here.

Scientist Discovers New Body Part!

Ladies and gentlemen, let us all welcome, the newest addition to the human anatomy: Dua’s layer.

The new ocular part sits at the back of the cornea and was discovered by Harminder Dua, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Nottingham. Only 15microns thick, the said body part is nearly invisible to the human eye. Nevertheless, according to the professor, it entails big implications in further understanding the human body.

You see, before, scientists know about five corneal layers. However, with the help of an electron microscope, Dua’s team were able to discover the said new body part by separating the layers of the cornea. A similar procedure is also used on surgery patients.

“From a clinical perspective, there are many diseases that affect the back of the cornea which clinicians across the world are already beginning to relate to the presence, absence or tear in this layer,” explains Dua in the journal of Ophthalmology.

As such, better understanding the cornea’s anatomy through the discovery of the Dua’s layer will enable scientist and researchers all over the world in curing the diseases related to it.

Source: Mashable

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom: your 16MP camera smartphone

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Last June 12, Samsung Mobile Press officially introduced the Galaxy S4 Zoom, which converges the best of the smartphone and camera worlds. Combining an impressive 16MP CMOS Sensor, 10X optical zoom, optical image stabilization, xenon flash and the very latest of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 technology, the Galaxy S4 aims to set the bar in mobile photography.

Powering the Galaxy S4 Zoom is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor paired with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. It features 8GB of internal memory (expandable up to 64GB) and 1.5GB of RAM. Screen size is at a respectable 4.3inches (sAMOLED, 960 x 540 resolution). The gadget is already LTE capable, with WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth and A-GPS + GLONASS as additional connectivity features. As the Galaxy S4 Zoom is primarily a camera with phone capabilities, it packs a number of camera features including: SMART Mode(25): Smart mode suggest, Beauty face, Best photo, Continuous shot, Best face, Kids shot, Landscape, Dawn, Snow, Macro, Food, Party/Indoor, Action freeze, Rich tone (HDR), Panorama, Waterfall, Animated photo, Drama, Eraser, Sound & Shot, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks and Light trace. Its battery is rated at 2,330mAh.

For the full press release, see below:

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Facebook introduces #Hashtags

Following the lead of the other social media companies such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, Facebook began rolling out hashtags on its site last Wednesday, June 12. With clickable hashtags, users will now be able to see a feed of what other people and pages are saying about a specific topic, thus enabling users a simple way of seeing the bigger picture of what’s happening today.

As Greg Lindley, FB’s Product Manager, writes, “Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Facebook to share their thoughts on big moments happening all around them. Whether it’s talking about a favorite television show, cheering on a hometown sports team or engaging with friends during a breaking news event—people on Facebook connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world.”

According to the company’s official press release, hashtags is just one of many features that will be surfacing on the social networking site that is aimed at harvesting some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people and topics.

With hashtags, Facebook users will now be able to do the following:

• Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar.
• Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
• Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

For more information, you may visit Facebook’s Help Center.

Source: Facebook

Mac OS X Mavericks, coming later this year!

Aside from iOS 7, the new MacBook Air, the redesigned Mac Pro and Anki’s amazingly fun AI-powered iOS game, Apple also announced the Mac OS X Mavericks at last Monday’s WWDC 2013. And from the looks of it, there are a lot to be excited about the company’s new desktop operating system that is set to be released later this year alongside iOS 7. For a quick rundown of the software’s specifications and features, see the official marketing material below taken from Apple’s website.

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Anki: bringing AI closer to YOU


Last Monday, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, a five-year-old startup company called Anki delivered a keynote address about their new app Anki Drive. It is a racing game that pits real cars against players and each other with your iOS device serving as a controller. Although seemingly amusing and innocent at first, most of us would probably miss the bigger picture of such innovation: the company is bridging the gap between artificial intelligence (AI) and real life. As Anki’s Boris Sofman puts it,

“We’re passionate about AI and robotics, and we know these advanced technologies are more than just science fiction. We want to harness them, to interact with them, to be entertained by them, and use them to do things that have simply never been done before. We believe the time is right to bring AI out of robotics labs and research institutions and into life.”

According to the company’s official blog, Anki Drive is the first video game that actually runs in the real world. Each toy car is said to be equipped with sensors and intelligent software that makes thousands of decisions every second — similar to the algorithmic calculations a human being does while driving. Sofman adds,

“When we look at Anki Drive, we see the first steps of the future of robotics and artificial intelligence being realized. We see an entertainment experience transformed today, and we see countless possibilities in the future.”

Anki Drive will be available this Fall exclusively on iOS.Before its release, the app is available for download on the App Store for users wishing to better understand the technology behind the game. Everybody is also welcome to sign up for a spot on the game’s beta program.

About the company:
Based in San Francisco, Anki is dedicated to bringing artificial intelligence and robotics to our everyday lives. The company was founded in 2010 by Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute graduates who sought to create new consumer experiences using technology that was once confined to robotics labs and research institutes. Its first product, Anki Drive, will be available in North America later this Fall. The company is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and Two Sigma. Anki (pronounced AHN-key) means “to learn by heart.” To learn more about Anki, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to us on YouTube.

Source: Anki


Starmobile: Nationwide Android Blowout from June12 to July15!

Are you looking for affordable Android handsets? Just recently, Starmobile has officially announced its latest fleet of Android devices that would surely fit your budget as well as your smartphone needs. Whether you are in the market for a very capable and competitive handset, or just trying out Android for the first time, Starmobile has options for you to choose from.

To further allure you to jump to the Android bandwagon via Starmobile, the company is launching a month-long sale of its handsets. Dubbed as “Good Buys Good Vibes,” the Nationwide Android Blowout is set to start tomorrow, June12 and will end on July 15. Up to P2,000 savings are to be given to all buyers during the promo period, with handset options ranging from the Diamond which sports Android Jelly Bean, a 5inch screen and a quad-core processor to the very affordable Astra which packs ICS together with its 4.3inch screen and dual core processor.

For more information, visit the company’s FB page.

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