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July 2, 2015

Take A Look At What’s Inside The ‘Most Exclusive Website’ (Spoiler Alert), the website that only lets a single person in at a time (for 60 seconds), has really blown up over the last few days. At the time of this writing, more than 50,000 people are waiting in line for their one minute of exclusivity.

If you don’t want to wait a month to see what’s inside, check out the full reveal after the jump.

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June 30, 2015

Thankbot Writes And Sends Handwritten Letters For Your Business

As an alternative to traditional direct mail, Brooklyn startup Thankbot will write and send handwritten letters on behalf of your company.

The concept is based on the premise that direct mail advertising, in its current state, sucks. We just throw most of it away. But how often do you throw away a handwritten note?

Thankbot was founded by Caroline Keim, who also founded design/development shop Milk & Pixels. She has built websites for a number of other startups, and she’s now taking the plunge herself.

“It was fun to be on the other side of this,” Keim told me in an interview. “I now completely understand why clients want to see [...]

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June 27, 2015

The Beauty Of Twitter Search

Even with so many other options out there, Twitter is still my favorite social platform. It’s the town square of social media—everything is public, so you can drop in and out of conversations that are already happening (without being creepy).

One of my favorite Twitter features is the search function, which I’ve used to start hundreds of interesting conversations and meet tons of cool people. You can search for tweets and discussions about anything you’re interested in and chime in—making new connections along the way.

I’m interested in startups, so one Twitter search I have saved is this:

startup OR startups -http

The [...]

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June 26, 2015

RIP Grooveshark

I’m not sure how I missed this, but it seems Grooveshark quietly died at the end of April, following a long series of copyright-related legal battles with UMG, SMG, and WMG.

The website is gone now, leaving only a goodbye letter in its place. “As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies,” it reads, “we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies’ copyrighted works and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.”

There is no way for users to export their playlists or contacts—it’s all gone. [...]

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June 26, 2015

Facebook Users Can ‘Celebrate Pride’ With Rainbow Profile Photo Filter

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, making it legal in all 50 states. To celebrate this monumental step for equal civil rights, Facebook has rolled out a new tool that will superimpose a rainbow banner over your profile picture. Just head over to to give it a try.

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June 25, 2015

iTunes U Now Allows Students To Submit Homework From Their Tablets

In an effort to help students and teachers work together digitally, Apple has launched some interesting new features for iTunes U.

With the updated and redesigned iTunes U, students can submit homework and other assignments directly from their mobile devices. The submitted work is timestamped, so teachers know exactly when it was submitted.

An integrated grade book will alert teachers when a student’s work is ready for grading, as well as which students may need a reminder.

A new chat function will continue the classroom discussion digitally and serve as a direct line of contact between teachers and students.

iTunes U also now allows teachers to [...]

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June 25, 2015

Amazon Echo Is Now Available To Everyone

If you want to get your hands on Amazon Echo—the wireless speaker with a built-in voice-controlled personal assistant—it’s now available to everyone.

The device, which Amazon revealed last November, is a Bluetooth speaker on steroids. The personal assistant (named Alexa) can answer questions, play music on demand, and order Amazon products for you using simple voice commands.

Initially, Echo was only available to Amazon Prime customers on a special waiting list. Amazon was quite conservative in sending out invites, and even when customers purchased it, shipping times turned from weeks into months.

But now, Amazon Echo is available to everyone. It costs [...]

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June 24, 2015

Facebook Messenger No Longer Requires A Facebook Account

Facebook Messenger no longer requires users to have a Facebook account. Starting today, users in the U.S., Canada, Venezuela, and Peru can sign up using only your full name and phone number.

Facebook still encourages users to sign up for a regular Facebook account to “take advantage of multi-device messaging across mobile devices, the web and tablets,” which suggests that signing up with a name and phone number won’t sync your conversations from device to device.

The company says the aim of this move is to reach more people. All of Messenger’s standard features—photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, and stickers—are [...]

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June 23, 2015

Verizon Officially Completes Its $4.4 Billion Acquisition Of AOL

Verizon today announced that its acquisition of AOL for $4.4 billion dollars is officially complete.

Going forward, CEO Tim Armstrong will continue to lead operations at AOL. Bob Toohey, president of Verizon Digital Media Services, will now report to Armstrong.

As part of the acquisition, Verizon has also acquired a set of notable publications, including Engadget, TechCrunch, and the Huffington Post. This raises some ethical questions about editorial content, particularly for Engadget and TechCrunch, though both sites say they will remain editorially independent.

The dial-up Internet business at AOL, which is what made the company the giant it is today, is still [...]

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June 23, 2015

Google Is Developing A Wearable That Allows Doctors To Monitor Patients Outside The Hospital

In an effort to bring wearables to the medical field, Google has developed a health-tracking wristband that could give physicians real-time, detailed information about patients, even when they’re away from the hospital.

Developed by the Google X research division, the device can measure and report heart rhythm, pulse, skin temperature, and environmental circumstances like light exposure and noise levels.

“Our intended use is for this to become a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials,” said Andy Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google, in an interview with Bloomberg.

The device is designed to [...]

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