You may not notice a lot of ads in your Instagram feed on a regular basis but that might be about to change. Unnamed sources tell Ad Age that Instagram has reached an advertising deal with ad agency Omnicom that will be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. For anyone keeping track, this deal alone would account for 10% of the $1 billion that Facebook paid to acquire Instagram back in 2012. In other words, it won’t take long at all for Facebook to recoup its investment in Instagram if it signs a few more deals like the one Ad Age says it’s signed with Omnicom.
Have you ever dropped copious amounts of LSD and then gone on a roller coaster all while sitting on top of a paint shaker? If so then you probably have a good understanding of what it’s like to play Wave Wave, a new iOS game that looks something like Flappy Bird for the raver crowd. Essentially, Wave Wave makes you guide a black line through a series of brightly colored triangles that seem to get narrower and more difficult to navigate as the game progresses. Just watching the trailer for the game is enough to give you motion sickness and we’re still seeing tiny little triangles flying in front of our eyes minutes after we’ve stopped watching it. The game promises to help you “fall into ‘the zone’ where your brain switches off,” which is supposed to be a popular thing with the kids nowadays. The full trailer for Wave Wave follows below. More →
We’ve said in the past that Microsoft’s “Scroogled” campaign rings somewhat hollow to us because Microsoft has certainly not been above using its users’ data to sell more targeted ads. Now The Washington Post informs us that Microsoft is going to cobble together Xbox Live user profiles from “Microsoft user IDs and other public data” that it will then use to deliver targeted political ads on the Xbox Live dashboard based on what it thinks are users’ personal beliefs. Microsoft is also apparently pitching political campaigns to share their “own lists of voter e-mail addresses” so that “Microsoft can match the additional data with individual customer accounts for even more accurate voter targeting.” No Microsoft officials would comment on the Post’s story and it’s not clear what opt-out policies will be for any gamers who don’t want their Xbox dashboards spammed with political ads.
BlackBerry phones still offer the best security of any other smartphones around but what if you want something that, much like Spinal Tap’s famous amplifiers, pushes your security up from a 10 to an 11? If you’re in the market for a BlackBerry that’s more-secure-than-secure then German company Secusmart GmbH has something for you, provided you have the cash. More →
There are two mythical gadgets that we’ve long heard about but have never actually seen: An Apple iTV and an all-metal Samsung flagship phone. Although some rumors had raised our hopes that Samsung would be releasing a premium all-metal version of its Galaxy S5 this year, the company dashed our hopes by announcing a Galaxy S5 that only came in water-resistant plastic that makes it look like a Band-Aid. SamMobile, however, makes the case that Samsung could still benefit from releasing a premium Galaxy S5 this year even as it plans to push the plastic model as its top device. More →
SoftBank CEO and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son really, really does not like to lose. Son’s iconic quote came when he was asked why he would ever want to buy up Sprint and he said that “I am a man, and every man wants to be number one, not number two or number three.” As a new profile in The Wall Street Journal makes clear, Son hasn’t lost any of his desire to win in the United States even as Sprint has consistently remained the wireless world’s biggest loser. More →
For the past year or so, BlackBerry fans would try to counter reports on BlackBerry’s barely existent U.S. market share by pointing to comScore surveys showing that BlackBerry still had a marginally larger market share than Windows Phone, Microsoft’s mobile platform that is similarly little used in the U.S. However, the latest comScore numbers inform us that even this little factoid is no longer true: Windows Phone has at long last overtaken BlackBerry in the United States. More →
To steal from an old Chris Rock joke: “I love tech fans but I hate fanboys.” What I mean is that I think it’s great if you have a favorite brand or company that you’re enthusiastic about. However, it’s not-so-great if your love of that brand turns into an insane religious devotion that leads you to lash out angrily at even the slightest criticism of it. The absolute worst tech fanboys remind me a lot of the ridiculous Beliebers who posted hilarious messages defending Justin Bieber even after he was arrested for drag racing while intoxicated… except the difference is most of those people at least have the excuse of being 12-year-old girls and aren’t supposedly grown-up men. More →
Did Newsweek pick the wrong guy for its big Bitcoin exposé? In an interview with The Associated Press, 64-year-old Temple City, Calif. resident Satoshi Nakamoto has denied that he ever heard of Bitcoin until his son mentioned it three weeks ago after getting a call from Newsweek. Nakamoto admitted that Newsweek got several details of his background right in its massive profile of him, including his education, his work history and his hobbies. However, Nakamoto is insistent that Newsweek got the biggest detail about his life wrong: That he had anything to do with the creation of Bitcoin. More →
T-Mobile CEO John Legere loves to talk trash about his rivals’ networks but recent studies have indicated that T-Mobile has some work to do if it wants to match the network quality of Verizon and AT&T. Thankfully for Legere, he has a sugar daddy in the form of parent company Deutsche Telekom that for the time being is willing to lay down the cash necessary to back up Legere’s boasts. More →
Surprise, surprise: A lot of people are interested in buying Samsung’s Galaxy S5. SamMobile notices that T-Mobile senior product manager Desmond Smith has tweeted out that his company has now received 300,000 pre-registrations for the Galaxy S5, which is particularly impressive since it was just over a week ago that T-Mobile announced it had already received 100,000 pre-registrations. Pre-registrations aren’t the same as pre-orders, of course, since they aren’t commitments to buy a device and are only sign ups to be alerted it when it becomes available. Nonetheless, getting 300,000 pre-registers in just a week and a half is definitely indicative of high interest in the Galaxy S5, although it will have a tough act to follow since the Galaxy S4 last year became the fastest-selling Android phone of all-time with 10 million shipments in just one month.
What will Google’s robots have in common with Google+? Apparently they’ll be everywhere and you won’t be able to escape them. Bloomberg reports that Google chairman Eric Schmidt said this week that his company is experimenting with using robots to automate a lot of the more mundane tasks we do every day. In this way, says Schmidt, “robots will become omnipresent in our lives in a good way” because they’ll “replace a lot of the repetitive behavior in our lives.” More →
Who doesn’t love making money while doing little to no actual work? The answer is, “No one.” However, some ways of making quick money are demonstrably more pleasant than others, as demonstrated by Airpnp, a new mobile app that lets you rent out your bathroom for complete strangers to use when they have to go in your neighborhood. The app acts as a sort of Craigslist for bathrooms that lets you advertise that your bathroom can be used and also sets your price at anywhere from $0 for less-than-appealing bathrooms to $10 for bathrooms that deliver the luxury treatment. More →