Shopping search engine TheFind is debuting a more personalized search feature today. Personalized search sifts through the millions of online products available to give you personal results based on a combination of both your Facebook “Likes” and past shopping searches and clicks on TheFind.com.
TheFind, which launched back in 2006, is a comparison shopping site that surface and categorize more than 500 million product offers from 500,000 stores. The company was recently granted a patent (the seventh in TheFind’s portfolio of patents) for the “Method for Relevancy Ranking of Products in Online Shopping,” and as the company’s CTO Shashikant Khandelwal explains, TheFind wants to rank products based on your social and shopping habits to give you exactly what you want faster.
For people who sign in with Facebook Connect, personalization of your results is based both on your demographics (gender, age etc) and your Facebook Likes and also activity on TheFind. Obviously, the more active you are on TheFind and Facebook, the more tailored the search results will become. So if you are searching for jeans, you’ll see the stores that your friends liked and results from those stores will rank higher than others.
This isn’t the first time TheFind has attempted to incorporate social data into the shopping experience. Back in 2010, TheFind debuted Facebook Connect, and last year debuted Glimpse, a Pinterest-like Facebook shopping discovery app. Now TheFind is hoping adding social to the search experience will help conversions. Another startup playing in the similar space is Lish, the new social shopping app from Payvment.
If you’re trapped on a deserted island, instead of spending months looking for the Pearl Station and figuring out the smoke monster you could just pull the antenna out of the Breitling Emergency II and call in a rescue party. This watch contains a small emergency transmitter that will notify authorities of your position as soon as you deploy an internal antenna, ensuring you won’t even get a chance to notify Desmond that it’s not Penny’s boat.
The original Emergency watch, designed in the 1990s, sent a 121.5 MHz signal that could be detected by rescue craft within 100 miles of the watch. The new model also transmits at 406.04 MHz, a frequency that is now monitored by orbiting satellite. The watch can transmit for about 24 hours before the battery dies.
The watch is huge – 51mm wide – and surprisingly thick. However, the fact they’ve been able to fit a solid transmitter and a nice quartz chrono into a package that could feasibly save your life is pretty cool. Breitling will also give you a new watch if you activate the transmitter in a real emergency situation. The piece will cost $15,000 when it’s released this year.
The watch comes with a charger for the emergency module and the quartz movement is powered by a separate battery. It’s obviously a bit pricey so you may want to think twice before coughing up the cash. After all if, once you land on the island, you’re suddenly able to walk again and you get to hang around with Evangeline Lilly, you may just want to hang around for a while and see how things play out. Your call. For more on the Emergency, head over to A Blog To Watch’s hands on from Basel this year.
View original post here: Breitling Releases The Emergency II, A Watch That Can Save You If You’re Trapped On The Island
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Facebook’s new “Home” on Android will debut on a mediocre HTC handset codenamed “Myst” but will be available on standard Android phones, according to an autopsy of a leaked developer build of the Facebook “phone” software scored by Android Police. This aligns with our scoop and predictions from last week about what Facebook will launch at its big press event on Thursday.
Building a slightly modified Android operating system for an HTC handset would give Facebook the freedom to customize its user experience in ways iOS and stock Android won’t allow. This includes a highly personalized homescreen that pipes in Facebook news feed content and notifications, but also has deep Facebook functionality built in elsewhere.
However, there may be a limited market for a phone that’s totally focused on Facebook. So, as I wrote last Thursday, Facebook is likely to release a more basic version of its HTC homescreen experience as a homescreen launcher replacement standalone app that’s compatible with the unmodified Android OS — the most popular mobile smartphone operating system in the world. This would give Facebook’s hard work a much wider audience than if its homescreen was shackled to HTC.
Ron Amadeo of Android Police’s impressive find of this Facebook phone application package file (APK) confirms all of this with new details.
There’s always the potential this device could have just been a tester and something better could be debuted Thursday. But the handset build.prop file from the APK says Facebook’s new software is meant to run on:
These specs mesh with what Unwired View reported the Facebook-HTC device would have, and they point to a handset very similar to the HTC Sense 4.5. There’s also the potential this could run on other carriers beyond AT&T.
As for the software, it includes a logo titling it “Facebook Home” just as we wrote last week. Special features that the software has Android permissions for include the ability to:
In the layout XML and image files are indications that Facebook Home will let you view Facebook news feed stories, a more standard clock screen, shortcuts for launching apps, and search via Google.
One of the most fascinating features is referred to as “Chat Heads” in the APK, and comes with the ability to “pop out chat head.” It appears to let Facebook Chat conversations float above the currently viewed screen and remain visible even while you use other apps. Think how certain websites let you activate a music player that stays persistently visible and doesn’t pause a song as you browse between different webpages. This could be similar but for mobile chat. The Chat Heads feature could be one that only runs on Facebook’s modified Android OS.
Possibly the most important thing Android Police discovered is that the Facebook Home software comes ready to read the settings of the launcher for the stock Android operating system, and the HTC launcher, but also the TouchWiz Launcher — the front-end mobile interface designed by Samsung. That means Home is designed to run on the more traditional Android OS installed on handsets made by OEMs other than HTC. Essentially, Facebook could ship a version of Home that could be downloaded from Google Play onto a wide variety of devices.
It makes perfect sense and supports what I wrote last week. The premier version of Home could be shown off on an HTC running a build of Android altered by Facebook. This would include the custom homescreen, but also deeper hooks, such as the ability to Facebook Chat while in other apps. On April 4th or a little down the road, Facebook could also offer a slightly less powerful version of Home for standard Android. If both are a success, it could pressure other OEMs beyond HTC to partner with Facebook to modify the Android builds they run to be compatible with the premier version of Home.
This strategy would let Facebook: 1. Build its dream experience on HTC, 2. Offer a deeper homescreen experience to anyone with Android, and 3. Persuade more OEMs to work with it.
That sounds good in theory, but the success of Facebook Home will come down to whether it really adds value on top of the existing Facebook flagship Android app. If not, few will buy the HTC Facebook phone; only the most hardcore social networkers will install the homescreen replacement, and OEMs won’t invest in deeper Facebook functionality. Years of work on Facebook’s part could fizzle out.
But if it does succeed, Facebook Home Users could give us what I call a sixth sense for our social lives by instantly being able to see on our homescreens what’s going on with our friends. It could perhaps even push Apple to open new homescreen modification abilities to developers. And most critically, without manufacturing its own devices, Facebook could gain more control of the mobile experience and drive even more engagement on the small screens that everyone’s switching to.
Read more about Facebook’s big new Android project:
See the article here: Facebook Phone Leak Points To Budget HTC Device, Homescreen App For All Androids
I keep seeing this topic push up about how data is affecting creativity. Some say we are losing our sense of narration and storytelling. It’s not this at all. We are just experiencing a shift that other civilizations have faced when the traditional means for storytelling transform to give a sense of the changing times facing society.
That does not mean a rejection of the narrative form. The ancient Greeks developed a rich oral tradition for telling stories. Out of that they created a common language, which formed the foundation for fables, legends and myths.
Now we see that data, shaped by software, creates a space to tell stories in new ways. Narrative methods to express our imagination will change as techniques emerge that allow us to use programming languages to carry on what we know for the next generations.
Om Malik says it’s this sense of data storytelling that will become so important. Today, he explains, data is used as a blunt instrument. The ones that use data more effectively well remind of us how we relate to each other.
Cloudera Co-Founder and Data Scientist Jeff Hammerbacher said on the Charlie Rose show earlier this month that it’s not that “numerical” imagination” is better than using “narrative” imagination. It’s just that now, for the first time in thousands of years, we need to think more about using data analytic methods for developing stories.
For example, Hammerbacher is working as an assistant professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, developing a storage and data analysis infrastructure. Like Malik, Hammberbacher said it’s how we find ways to pair data that will give us insights. For instance, finding ways to integrate genetic databases and electronic health records that tell a story that both physicians and patients understand.
Hammerbacher recounted a story to Rose about a lump that appeared on his chest. The doctor examined it and sent him to another doctor. Hammebacher asked the question: “Don’t you want to quantify what is in my body?” He followed by saying the amount of insight we get into a server at Facebook is greater than we have about our own bodies. The ones who can quantify our own human data and network it will give society new ways to explain who we are through dimensions we never imagined.
Hammerbacher and Malik have views from different spaces across the information spectrum. But they both point to a new reality that will require us to think much differently about how we imagine our world and the data that is now far visible than ever before.