Pi.pe, the file transfer and synchronization service which emerged from San Francisco-based Pixelpipe, has previously served as one of the only serious utilities to move photos and other media files between all the various cloud services. Since its launch a little over a year ago, Pi.pe’s focus has been primarily on backup and sharing. But it was missing an option for ordering prints – something which most services focused on photo management today offer. Today, that changes.
The company is now launching Pi.pe Prints, which allows users to print photos hosted all over the cloud to locations like Walgreens, CVS, and soon Shutterfly, Tesco, and Fuji Film, too – the latter likely in about a month’s time. Pricing for Walgreens and CVS is the same as is listed on their own websites (e.g. 4
As we move closer to the launch of the (probably awful) Facebook phone, let’s examine just what the social network and its ilk have created. Millions of us use these new tools to joke, flirt and share memories, but just as many of us use these tools much to our disadvantage. In some ways, however, that is making things better for all of us.
This morning Gawker posted surveillance video of a terrible mugging that took place not far from my home in Brooklyn. The video (don’t watch it, it’s not important here) clearly showed the victim going down the stairs and then the attacker coming up behind her wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the Alpha Phi Delta insignia, the nickname “Stugotz” (Italian slang for “dick”) and the number 27. There were a few more clues as to the mugger’s identity, but those were the major ones. The woman sustained minor injuries, according to Gawker, but the attack was particularly jarring and disgusting.
Minutes after the Gawker post hit, a reader found this Facebook page. It was all there: the hoodie, the logo, a set of keys, a purple bracelet, and the thief’s yutzy mug preening from a set of clear Facebook photos that could have come right from the “how not to be a frat boy who mugs people” playbook. Today Stugotz, aka Aidan Folan, 21, was taken into custody in Brooklyn.
Aren’t we lucky, then, that this idiot shared his information with such abandon? The average person, myself included, wouldn’t see Folan’s Facebook account as very unique at all. It’s a dossier of a life that apparently led him to rob and beat a woman on the subway. If this had been any other 21-year-old, Folan’s photos of himself cavorting with his friends and calling out his bros in the frat would be absolutely normal. But these are the posts of a criminal, and of late we’re seeing more and more of this.
We’re entering a new era of documentation. In the hours after the Newtown shootings, we found ourselves clicking on links purporting to connect us to the shooter’s Facebook page. Police routinely use Facebook and other social posts to catch criminals stupid enough to snap themselves with the phones of their prey.
Internet vigilantism isn’t new, and this isn’t what I’m on about here. This is about the dangers of exposing yourself too much in one way - in the case of the PyCon debacle two weeks ago or this dark other way. Is it right and good that Folan should be called out and caught for his misdeeds? Absolutely. But taken to the other extreme, these same tools can be – and are – used against the innocent.
It’s easy to write a jeremiad against oversharing in the social era. It’s been done before and will be done again. However, as we watch fools and villains hoisted on their own petards again and again, why can’t we learn something? Why can’t we treat Facebook like a mini social club where our relationships are splayed flat and squirming in other people’s browsers. Or, more important, why do we?
These questions will be answered by us all over the next few decades. Once we realize that our online presence is as palpable, in the end, as our physical one, I suspect more of us will pull back. I’ve already started slowing my sharing, opting instead for private sharing with my family and some jokes on Tumblr. I want idiots like Folan to be exposed, and it pleases me to no end to see him get his comeuppance. But the sword cuts both ways.
In a way it’s good that the social animal is so persistent within us. It lets fools be foolish on a big stage, and when they hurt someone it lets vigilante justice roll over them. But, at the same time, we are not always fools nor are we always foolish. Sometimes being the social animal is a detriment. It’s up to us to know when.
Read more here: The Idiocy Of The Social Animal
While the folks at GroupMe have spent some time exploring the world outside group messaging, they certainly haven’t given up on refining the formula that made them so appealing in the first place. Earlier today, GroupMe pushed out a pair of considerable updates that add some curious (and tremendously thoughtful) features to the company’s iOS and Android apps.
As you’d expect these updates play host to a few minor tweaks and bugfixes (they’re apparently so minor GroupMe won’t even lay them out on its blog) but two new features are the real stars of the show here.
First up is GroupMe’s new gallery view — rather than forcing users to scroll upstream through scores of old messages in search of previously shared photos, the app now lets them view all those photos in one fell swoop. Useful, sure, but nothing all that weighty. More importantly, GroupMe users can now include what the company calls a “Split” into any conversation — as the name sort of implies, it’s a way for users to quickly add expenditures in hopes that the rest of the group will chip in.
Users can either set up the expense as a fixed goal that group members can contribute to, or as a set dollar amount that each person must contribute, and the actual payments are handled by YC-backed Balanced. Aside from learning which of your compatriots are unrepentant cheapskates, the caveats are few — the first transaction could take up to 3 to 5 days to clear with a user’s bank, and the inevitable contributor fees ($0.99 plus 4.0% of the total amount) will kick in on March 12.
Granted, there’s really no shortage of cute ways to split a payment these days (consider PayByGroup and PayDivvy, just to name a few) but baking that sort of functionality directly into a messaging application is an awfully savvy move. After all, GroupMe is already providing a useful way for multiple people to communicate and get things done — further enhancing that ability to get things done by adding support for in-app payments could help cement GroupMe as something more substantial than just another media-centric messaging app.
Go here to see the original: Chatting Is Great, But GroupMe’s Mobile Apps Now Let Users Split Payments Too
Today at Facebook’s News Feed redesign event, the company has announced the launch of new feeds focused on specific verticals, including an “All Friends” feed, which highlights content from all of your friends; a “Music” feed, which contains both the music your friends are listening to and relevant updates from musicians you like; a “Following” feed, which provides an easy way to keep track of users you follow; and a “Photos” feed.
Facebook Tech Lead Chris Struhar detailed during the event that users will now have more control over what they see in their feed. Struhar says feeds will also be sorted by how much you view them, and that they will be available across desktop and mobile.
Here’s the new photos feed:
Here’s the music feed:
There also appears to be a Games section, which Facebook did not formally announce:
CEO Mark Zuckerberg details that he wants the News Feed to be the best “personalized newspaper” in the world. Zuckerberg also shared that imagery is now 50% of total news feed content.
This news follows speculation over how Facebook plans to redesign its News Feed. Given Facebook’s scale and how essential the News Feed is to the social network’s overall experience, even the smallest changes can impact public perception of the service.
Facebook has provided a video on its redesign, too:
With DSLR sales up and Instagram setting a new bar for tastefully shot photos, there are countless hobbyist and amateur photographers out there.
A new startup called Ourspot is tapping into that community by creating a marketplace where anybody can hire amateur photographers to shoot events for free to around a few hundred dollars or more. It’s out for San Francisco today, but Los Angeles and New York are coming soon.
The sole founder, Sam Yam, is a veteran entrepreneur who worked at Loopt before co-founding and selling mobile ad mediation startup AdWhirl to AdMob. After leaving Google shortly after the $750 million AdMob acquisition, he started group-buying site ChompOn. But that flamed out like so many other group-buying startups and Yam started tinkering with new ideas.
“I was thinking about people’s passions and how to find an opportunity for them to extend those out beyond hobbies and make them a supplement,” he said.
He explored some of his own personal hobbies like music, but then settled on photography.
“Those things are really hard to monetize by yourself unless you focus exclusively on them as your life,” he said. “But photography is something that you can run random gigs for. There are a lot of people who are into photography, but they might not have the means to be a professional or market themselves. I just wanted to create an opportunity for them to put their work out.”
On the site, you can scroll through photographers’ portfolios and list events that you want to hire for. You can pay as much or as little as you like, but the site suggests $10 for “fun” shoots, $25 for “standard” shoots and $100 or more for custom work. Ourspot takes an 8 percent cut, but Yam said he might potentially change that fee.
It’s easy to sign-up to be a photographer. You either log-in with your e-mail or Facebook. Yam says that all photographers who put their work on Ourspot keep the rights to their photos. (He wanted to avoid an Instagram-like debacle, after the Facebook-owned mobile app initially said it would reserve the right to use people’s photos as ads.)
He also says he’s not trying to cannibalize the market for very high-end segments like wedding photography, which can cost thousands of dollars.
“There’s just a much larger market of people that could casually take photos,” he said. Plus, he said this could make it easier to hire people who want to shoot for fun for super-casual events like picnics.
To grow a community for the site, Yam is giving out free business cards to Ourspot photographers (pictured below). He’ll also hold monthly meetups in San Francisco where a professional photographer will be available to do training sessions with Ourspot members.
Yam built and designed the entire site himself without a co-founder. Ourspot hasn’t taken funding yet, but Yam says he’s looking at a seed round.