One important thing you need to know about the S Pen is that it is not a stylus. “Make no mistake, this is not a stylus,” said Travis Merrill, Samsung’s director of tablet marketing, during the same presentation. “Our competitors have nothing like it. The S Pen looks and feels like a pen, yet it’s packed with advanced technology.”
To be fair, it’s a pretty cool stylu—er, “S-Pen.” For one, it uses electromagnetic technology to wirelessly sync with the screen, which helps accuracy. If you increase pressure on the S Pen, for instance, the line will be thicker on the screen. The screen distinguishes between more than 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Collections can be open to everyone, or closed to only a few authors. “Lots of services have successfully lowered the bar for sharing information, but there’s been less progress toward raising the quality of what’s produced,” Williams writes in a blog post introducing the service. Yet he also says that Medium is built so that lots of people can easily contribute, and it’s unclear what kind of controls the curator of each section has over what appears in their collection.
A giant defense contractor and a special effects giant have launched a virtual world where players can even feel when they’re shot.
Participants also feel pain when injured; two muscle stimulators attached to the triceps administer electric shocks when a user is “shot.” Users can continue to play with non-fatal injuries, but head or chest shots immediately remove them from the training exercise. The electric shock is comparable to one encountered in physical therapy, says Raytheon’s Ellen Houlihan.
Sorry, cops only.
For his fans, Gotye’s YouTube mash-up made entirely from covers of his hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” is one doozy of a love letter.
The Belgian-Australian artist (real name Wally De Backer) released the video via his YouTube channel this weekend. It features nearly six minutes’ worth of fans covering his 2011 single. “Somebody That I Used to Know” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been the best-selling digital single of the year in the U.S.
Called “Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra,” the video showcases amateur musicians playing the song on sax, harp, banjo, piano, bouzouki (a type of lute), and more. Also look for the full chorus, a capella singers, the acoustic solo, and animated scenes. Plus, clips from parodies of Gotye’s original music video, featuring Legos and Muppet-like puppets.
Can you match each person shown here with the Twitter account they run? Here’s the list: Mac Cosmetics, American Express, Ring Pop, Hornitos, Starwood.
Meet The Tweeters: The Faces Behind Brands’ Social Media Accounts, In Their Natural Habitats
The people behind brands’ social outreach, in their natural habitats, shot by Benjamin Lowy, using a Hipstamatic filter named after him.
Interface and product design win again.
When selecting a partner to power mobile payments in its stores, Starbucks could have approached Google, one of the most profitable companies in the world. It could have worked with PayPal, which already has more than 106 million users in the payments space. Or Isis, a consortium formed by telecom giants Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile that is also producing a “mobile wallet.”
“I’m sure if you and I were to rattle off the names of everyone in the space, that at some level we’ve been in discussions with them,” Starbucks’ Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman tells Fast Company. Presumably that includes Mastercard, Visa, and Verifone, which handles $10 billion in global transactions per year. But Starbucks chose to partner with Square, a three-year-old startup. Why?
“They’re focused with a level of intensity on the customer experience,” Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz told a small group of reporters Wednesday morning.
In other words, Square treats payments a lot like Starbucks treats coffee: by focusing on the experience around a product that is more or less a commodity.
Can Mindy Kaling’s 1.8 Million Twitter Followers Make Her New Sitcom A Hit?
Fox is betting her online popularity will translate to viewership for The Mindy Project. Here, Mindy takes us through a day of social media.
The New York Police Department and Microsoft have devised a terrorism detection system that will also generate profit for the city.
Although DAS is officially being touted as an anti-terrorism solution, it will also give the NYPD access to technologies that—depending on the individual’s perspectives—veer on science fiction or Big Brother to combat street crime. The City of New York and Microsoft will be licensing DAS out to other cities; according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s government will take a 30% cut of any profits. “Citizens do not like higher taxes, so we will (find other revenue outlets),” said Bloomberg. Bloomberg continued that “I hope Microsoft sells a lot of copies of this system, because 30% of the profits will go to us.”
As part of our social media roadmap in the September 2012 issue of Fast Company, we asked social media’s savviest users about their best practices. Use this guide to share their rules, then add yours, and we’ll keep charting a course through this rocky terrain.
They’re sometimes called “bimbots”—the army of Twitter bots with pretty profile pictures. Who are the women pictured in those photos? This is the story of the quest to find out.
The search giant is known for its playful, unconventional workspaces—perhaps intended to offset its fairly Vader-esque public image, and certainly, to sweeten the deal for young, in-demand engineers who may be juggling other offers. In Pittsburgh, Googlers enjoy an industrial theme and slides. In Zurich, it’s birch trees and meeting cocoons. Meanwhile, in London, Google has two established offices—one is industrial chic, the other, a space-age white box. Now, a third office—a “Super HQ”—has opened on the eighth floor of Central Saint Giles, the Renzo Piano-designed tower in Covent Garden.
After 15 years, Microsoft’s follow-up to the cluttered Hotmail is stripped down, styled after Windows 8, and easy to use.
Have you read that America’s students are falling behind the rest of the world? Not these award-winning university students, whose inventions are changing everything from water in the developing world to wheelchair design.
YouTube Introduces Face-Blurring Tool
YouTube has now launched a new tool for users in dangerous environments—a facial obscurer that digitizes faces in videos uploaded to YouTube. The algorithm-driven feature allows authors to automatically blur the faces in any video, public or private, on YouTube. A post on YouTube’s official blog also indicates the feature is aimed towards parents who do not want their children identified in publicly available video clips.
The facial obscurer is based on existing technology from Witness, a New York-based human rights video organization cofounded by musician Peter Gabriel. YouTube and Witness have had an ongoing relationship; the two collaborated (along with Storyful) on the recent launch of YouTube’s Human Rights Channel, which curates citizen journalism and news from unfree societies in a one-stop shop for activists, politicians, journalists, and interested members of the public.