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Archives: January 2013

Vimeo Gets Family Friendly with Content Ratings for Videos

Vimeo

Vimeo today announced a ratings system for videos that looks similar to the one on television. The creators of the video sharing site have vowed that all “boobs, blood, and curse words” will now be categorized and rated under the labels “All Audiences,” “Mature,” or “Not Yet Rated.” Ultimately, Vimeo plans to create filters for people to block unwanted content on their own.

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DIY Infographic Site Piktochart Gets a New Look

Piktochart

If data visualization is an art, using Piktochart is like having Bob Ross at the computer, whipping up infographics faster than you can say “happy little trees.” Today, the site for making charts with no design skills necessary has enhanced its portfolio of design themes to include new interactive features.

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RIM Introduces BlackBerry 10 OS & Z10, Q10 Phones

In a move to compete with Apple and Android, Research in Motion has BlackBerry has introduced a new operating system for BlackBerry along with two new phones — a touchscreen model Z10 and the Q10 a new BlackBerry with a QWERTY keyboard.

Like other smartphones popular today, the new BlackBerry Z10 has a touchscreen and offers access to third party apps through the BlackBerry App World. The BlackBerry Z10 is a touchscreen phone with a high-resolution 1280 x 768, 4.2-inch screen. It has 16GB of internal storage, which can be expanded with MicroSD cards up to 32 GB. It is Wi-Fi enabled and has an 8 megapixel camera. The Q10, on the other hand, incorporates the new operating system while providing a phone with a QWERTY keyboard for loyal keyboard enthusiasts. Both devices will be available in the U.S. in March. Read more

Boyfriend Trainer App Encourages Domestic Violence

Video games and mobile games are not known to be violence-free, but they rarely encourage real, physical abuse like Boyfriend Trainer. The “free” iPhone game encourages users to “Crack that whip and teach your guy a thing or two about being the Perfect Boyfriend! When scolding doesn’t work, just zap him, whack him and train him to be your ideal man!”  The game consists entirely of girlfriend characters smacking, hitting, or choking their significant other in order to level up.

The app comes from an India-based company. India has gotten a lot of negative attention from the numerous rape cases that have prompted policy changes to deal with crimes against women. The app, however, moves away from constructive means to deal with unhappy relationships.

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Audible.com’s Audiobook Exchange Grows 10x in Second Year

Writers using Audible.com’s Audiobook Creation Exchange, an online audiobook rights marketplace and production platform, created ten times as many audiobooks in 2012 as they did in 2011, the year the platform launched.

The tool helps writers, publishers and literary agents to create and publish audio versions of their books. Authors can record their own readings using the platform, or they can work with actors and voice over professionals, who also have profiles in the market place. It is used by a variety of types of writers. Self-published authors and authors who have publishers but manage the audio rights themselves use the site. In addition, agents and publishers can use the tool to produce work.

Here is more from ACX.com: “All titles made into audiobooks on ACX will be sold by three of the leading retailers of digital content: Audible.comAmazon.com, and iTunes (where Audible is the exclusive audiobook supplier).”

Playable City Installation Brings Talking Street Furniture to Bristol, England

Hello Lamp Post! is a smart city installation that aims to create interactions between you and inanimate street objects. Lamp posts are not the only street furnishings to get the ‘smart’ treatment, other street things such as mailboxes and storm drains will all be mobile friendly and accessible with a simple text from your phone.

Lamp posts, bus stops and post boxes are the goosebumps of the city and so ubiquitous that they have become invisible. The ‘smart city’ approach is to augment them with technologies like digital displays, but Hello Lamp Post! will make them playable, using existing city infrastructure to make an open, hospitable and playful experience which encourages you to notice and interact with what is around you.

The project is the first winner in Bristol’s Playable City contest, and it’s part of an evolving synthesis between ubiquitous smart phones and inert infrastructure that forms the fabric of our everyday existence. The strength of the design lays in the natural indexing of each object in the city – every post box has a six figure code, every storm drain has seven. Texting “hello” plus the object’s name and identifying index number wakes up each object. Ideally, the objects will have unique personalities, a keen sense of humor, and an affinity for urban planning.

The entertainment factor comes in the hunt for those unique numbers and conversationalists among the urban bunch, but also in the curious posture that users might take when texting a lamp post. Such displays of zany spectacle might be educational for one individual, but I suppose it can also appear strange, psychotic, or comical.

Via Good