News you need to know
Meet Pebble's New Color Smartwatch
After Pebble's wildly successful first smartwatch, the company is back again with a new, updated version that features a color e-ink display with battery life of up to a week. The Pebble Time launched this week for a pre-order price of $179 and breezed past $10 million in pledges. The new Pebble looks interesting, but I can't help that think it looks like a toy watch compared to others on the market right now.
Google will begin ranking mobile-friendly sites higher, starting April 21
Big news for Google this week: it'll start ranking mobile-friendly sites higher in search results starting April 21, along with surfacing more app results based on what users have installed. This is awesome, considering how often you've probably clicked a result on your phone only to be thrown into a desktop website.
Meet Apple's new, more diverse emoji options
The latest unicode standard that defines symbols, emojis and other images expressed in font form has a big new feature: diverse emoji. Apple was the first out of the gate to adopt the standard, even though it isn't finalized yet and this week we got a peek into what they'll look like when iOS 8.3 lands in the next month or two.
Universities Are Banning Watches From Exams
Now that smartwatches are becoming mainstream, universities in the US have been making moves to ban wearing a watch at all during exams, in fear of students cheating. According to this report, many are banning watches altogether because it's impossible to tell if each student's watch is internet-enabled or not.
Rethinking Office Space
Google unveiled plans for its next campus in Mountain VIew this week and it looks like something out of a dystopian future, but could actually become a reality. The company wants to build portable structures that can be moved around as its needs and products change.
A bunch of other interesting things happened this week:
- The FCC ruled in favor of net neutrality, a huge step forward for an open internet
- Apple announced an event for March 9 (where it'll give more details about the Watch)
- Medium launched an awesome new shorter-form writing focus
- Google unveiled Android for Work that lets you seperate work and home apps
- Twitter is to crack down further on abusive users by tracking phone numbers
- Lenovo's website was hacked and defaced in response to the Superfish controversy
- The internet exploded over the color of a dress
The State of Global Connectivity
A beautiful report on the state of internet connectivity from Facebook and Internet.org. 3 billion people are now online, but that means only 40% of the world's population has connected to the internet. Adoption of the internet is slowing too, with it growing just 6.6 percent in 2014, down from 14.7 percent in 2010. Absolutely worth your time.
Dutch Offer Preview of Net Neutrality
As the FCC finally ruled in favor of net neutrality, the Dutch have already forged the way and shown how it should be done for the last two years. As it turns out, forcing carriers to not give priority to traffic hasn't stifled competition in any way or form.
The Siberian crater saga is more widespread — and scarier — than anyone thought
Mysterious giant craters have been appearing in Siberia over the last year and researchers fear it could be only the beginning as the permafrost begins to melt thanks to climate change. The country is "urgently" investigating the craters, but there are fears that it could become a frequent occurance as global warming continues.
What Flying Was Like Before the Smoke Cleared
I never had to experience a flight where people were allowed to smoke, so the idea is crazy to me, but it was entirely normal for decades. This great look at what it was like to fly on an airplane filled with smoke makes me thankful the rules were changed.
How Samsung Won The Smartphone Wars... And Then Blew It
Samsung was the mobile company that was poised to swallow Android (and maybe smartphones in general) whole, until it basically fell apart internally. This is a great look at a company with deep internal struggles, squabbling and total misjudging of the smartphone market. Can Samsung get back on top?
Vurb Is Mobile Search For Finding Things and People
Vurb wants to be the app you go to whenever you want to organize or find something from your phone. It's mobile search, but with cards as results instead of lists of links. Ultimately, Vurb wants to stop you from jumping between apps to get searches done; it mashes up a bunch of data sources to create easy to read results.