No More Physical Gifts from Facebook

FacebookThe Facebook Gift Store made its appearance about a year ago. The purpose was to enable Facebook to generate some revenue that wasn’t primarily based on ads.

I think the idea was that people would notice the reminders that Facebook generates to inform people that a friend’s birthday is coming up. Of course, they would want to send that person a gift, right? What could be easier than picking out a gift from the Facebook Gift Store? You could pick out a physical gift (a teddy bear, for example) and have Facebook ship it to that friend’s home or office.

It seems that things didn’t go as Facebook might have hoped. AllThingsD noted that more than 80% of the gifts that were sent on Facebook were digital, not physical. In other words, people were much more likely to send a friend a digital gift (instead of a physical one).

As such, Facebook is shifting away from giving people the option to purchase physical gift items from the Facebook Gift Store. Instead, people can send digital gifts from a variety of Facebook’s retail partners. It appears that Starbucks, Apple’s iTunes, and Target are among the options. This change is being rolled out to Facebook users this weekend.

Another change involves how those digital gifts are distributed and accessed. Some will still be through digital codes. It also seems that people will be required to use the Facebook Card in order to redeem some digital gifts that a friend sent to them through the Facebook Gift Store. According to AllThingsD, it seems that the Facebook Card lets you add a specific amount of money for a particular store. Once money has been earmarked for one store, you cannot use it at any of the other stores that Facebook is involved with.

Rovio unveils Angry Birds Star Wars 2 sneak-peek video

Rovio announced previously that it would be releasing an Angry Birds Star Wars 2 game in late summer. Now, as the big day draws near, the game maker has unveiled a sneak-peek video and a bit more information. Angry Birds Star Wars II will feature bird and pig versions of over 30 characters from the Star Wars universe.

Rovio explains, that “in a countdown to the app launch, we’ll be introducing you to all of them! The first set of character reveal gameplay videos are already coming next Monday August 26th. The game will be out on September 19th all around the world”. The first charcter set will be unveiled this Monday, August 26th.

The game will be available as an universal app on iOS, Android (Google Play and Amazon) and Windows Phone 8 for $0.99 (or local equivalent)! There will also be a free ad-supported version available on Google Play.

GNC-2013-08-22 #884 New Nexus 7 Update

GNCLogo3_1_1400x1400AudioMoving should be a four letter word, more details in the show tonight.. Ton of tech news and a update to what is happening here.

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Ubuntu Edge Fails Crowdfund Goal – What Failed?

edge-1[1]It was an ambitious number. Even though they had 13,232 people back with $12,813,501, the Ubuntu Edge did not reach its goal of $32 million dollars.

The Ubuntu Edge was a concept open source phone using the Ubuntu OS. The phone was planned to dual-boot Android and Ubuntu mobile and almost double the specs of an iPhone or Android.

The Canonical team posted on their Indigogo page that although they didn’t make the goal, they did break records. $12 million was the worlds’ biggest fixed crowdfunding campaign. The pebble watch was the current holder of that record with $10 million.

Does Ubuntu Edge Still Win?

With Indigogo, they have a choice of  Flexible funding or Fixed funding. Ubuntu Edge didn’t reach their goal and their campaign is Fixed funding. Therefore, all backers will get their money back, but might be on a email list when Canonical decides to do this again.

So going back to that previous statement – they DIDN’T raise $12 million because of the fixed funding. So did they really break the record since it failed?

Things for Canonical to Think About on the Next Crowdfund

  1. 32 million is probably too much to ask at this point. $10 million would have been better
  2. Flexible funding would have ensured the phone would have gotten started
  3. Canonical did not post any estimated release dates, which might have put some off. If I have to wait a whole year to get the phone, what good is touting features that surpass iOS and Android?

Logitech unveils Special Edition Logitech Touch Keyboard K400 in White

Logitech has recently been releasing a line of new slim keyboards with built-in mouse pads. The latest in that line is the brand new K400 Touch Keyboard, which now comes in a limited edition white version.

The special edition keyboard boasts all the features you are used to in the traditional Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400, including a built-in touchpad, long range wireless and plug-and-play connectivity, only now available in a bright white color.

While the keyboard can certainly be used on the desktop, the keyboard layout is also optimized for the living-room environment — it’s compact, and gives you direct access to media and entertainment keys. The keyboard even stores vertically, making it easy to put away when not in use.

The special edition Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 in white is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe this September for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and GNC is attempting to get a review unit, so stay tuned.

logitech k400 white

Robot Underpants: 08.21.13 (115)

Mat “Langley” Luschek and “Starman” Michael Gaines do the show while Eric Rice is on assignment. This week we discuss decapitated snakes that eat their own tails, hippie science, hating San Francisco, Star Trek news, Star Wars news, and more!

* Snake Bites Itself

* Evil Dead Bikini

* Protein Synthesis with Hippies

* 10 Things Peter Shih Hates about SF

* Star Wars Comic

* Star Trek TV Show with Worf

* Germany’s Third Gender

* John Lennon’s Clone Tooth

* Facebook’s Embed Feature

* Louisiana Republicans Blame Obama for Katrina Response

Facebook Adds Embed posts Option

Facebook opened up their embedded post option to everyone today. Now, you can take a post, grab the embed code and insert into a blog like WordPress.

Developers can now add this to their apps. They released a new version of the Facebook plugin for WordPress that supports Embedded Posts. Otherwise, you can copy code to bring an embedded post into your article. Here is how:

How to Embed a Facebook Status

  1. Call up the specific post. Basically, select where it says how long ago the author posted it.
  2. From the drop-down on the top-right, choose “Embed Post”
  3. Copy the code and paste into your blog. It should look like this:

    embed-facebook-post

The End result:

Gameloft announces 15 new games for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8

Today Gameloft unveiled its Windows plans for this fall, including a bunch of new titles intended for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.

According to Microsoft, “Beginning with the releases this Fall of “Asphalt 8: Airborne” and “Dungeon Hunter 4,” Gameloft will launch a complete line-up of blockbusters across many genres simultaneously on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, taking advantage of the Windows platform’s multiple hardware configurations and focusing on exciting new features like cross-platform play between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices”.

“We strive to make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 the best platform for gaming. With top gaming companies such as Gameloft investing in the platform, it is evident that there is no better time for game developers and gamers alike to choose Windows”, says Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Developer and Platform Evangelism at Microsoft.

No release dates have yet been announced, so it is unclear when these titles will begin to roll out, not do we have any idea about pricing for either platform.

asphalt 8

GNC-2013-08-19 #883 Two iPhone Models?

GNCLogo3_1_1400x1400AudioWell is Apple going to do actually introduce a lower cost iPhone.. I hope they have more cards than this to play at the Apple event on September 10th.

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Amazon website goes down Monday afternoon

amazon logoIt seems that some of the biggest players in the industry are suffering from a recent rash of problems. Last week Microsft’s Outlook.com  email service suffered a rather long downtime that lasted for a good portion of the day and into two more days. Then Google had a similar, but much shorter outage that resulted in a forty-percent dip in web traffic according to analytics firm GoSquared.

Today it is the turn of Amazon, as the site mysteriously went offline for thirty minutes. Visitors encountered a “Oops! We’re very sorry,” alongside a “500 Service Unavailable Error” report when attempting to access the online retailer. The outage apparently only affected the US and Canada sites.

Microsoft has since reported the Outlook.com problem was caused by a failure in its “caching” temporary storage service. It said this “resulted in a flood of traffic that our services did not handle properly”. It is still too early for any information on the cause for today’s Amazon failure.