Wait! What? 7/10: Let’s Get Social!

Facebook...like...obviously. (Thinkstock Photos)
Facebook…like…obviously. (Thinkstock Photos)

This week we bring you the social (Facebook) edition of Wait! What?

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. It’s all about Marky Mark and his band of merry followers.

  • Sorry Jay-Z, it looks like this may be the end of TIDAL for good. Facebook is getting into the music game – the social network is reportedly bringing music videos and perhaps a music streaming service to its platform.
  • And in other video developments, Facebook has added floating videos, so you can watch and scroll at the same time. Our attention spans needed this.
  • Furthermore, media institutions finding it increasingly difficult to compete in the digital world are now giving up their autonomy and working with Facebook to publish articles on the platform.
  • Meerkat is also turning to FB to drive growth after being snubbed by Twitter. Hopefully, the social juggernaut can save the struggling live streaming service.
  • And in case Facebook’s apparent world domination is making you a little anxious, now there is Joyable, a new app to curb anxiety, which we initially found out about via an ad on Facebook.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @BlancandOtus! Have a great weekend!

Wait! What? 5/22: A handy-dandy email helper, a rapping robot and so much more

Thinkstock
Thinkstock

Hey there, Friday people! Here are a few weird tech stories to start your holiday weekend:

  • Having trouble writing emails? Can’t figure out what to say? Crystal can help – the startup uses public online data about email recipients to help writers craft the perfect note. Finally, a purpose for obsessive Internet stalking.
  • It looks like the music industry could be facing another major setback. DeepBeat, the world’s first AI rapper is taking the stage. He may be crap now, but just wait for 2.0.
  • Has Periscope won? Looks like Meerkat is going to have to go through a major overhaul if it wants to stay relevant…but those critters are just so damn cute.
  • For any identical twins out there, your days of trading places are over. New DNA technology makes it easier for police to catch the right twin. Hopefully this will stem the recent tide of identical twin-related crimes we’ve been seeing.
  • Light Phone is the newest iteration of technology that mimics low-tech gadgets of yore. In this case, the mythical cell phone. While it’s only $100, you have to own a smartphone for it to work. So I suggest an alternative – revive your Sidekick and ditch dumb-smart tech forever. Be free!

That’s all for now; go enjoy the long weekend! And be sure to follow us on Twitter @BlancandOtus.

Wait! What? 2/27: Snapchat’s musical venture, Re/code’s high-profile interview, and … Nihilist Arby’s

Arby's: Accelerate your stomach ache. (Thinkstock)
Nihilist Arby’s: Accelerate your stomach ache. (Thinkstock)

Wait, what happened in tech media this week? For one, the FCC decided it will regulate broadband Internet as a public utility. But let’s skip the big picture stuff and dive into some random, less momentous stories:

  • Sometimes parody Twitter accounts do better than the brand’s official channels. Nihilist Arby’s totally gets capitalism and PR – consumers really only care about the BIG questions.
  • Speaking of solid social media campaigns, ever wondered what makes a truly baller PR campaign?
  • And once you’re done mulling over the meaning of PR and/or life, you should probably watch Slow Mo Lab’s video of a rubber ball exploding in slow motion. The company’s approach to online video content is not dumb.
  • Also, in case you were wondering about what is actually important in life, Hillary Clinton just did an interview on the future of the Internet with Re/code’s Kara Swisher.
  • Finally, Snapchat, possibly the newest media titan, is breaking into the music market. Jury’s still out about whether their newest endeavor will be as fleeting as their photos.

That covers it for this week’s top picks – thanks for stopping by. You’re free to return to House of Cards.

Wait! What? 12/5: That Awkward Time Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

It’s now that weird time between Thanksgiving and Christmas where no one is really sure what is going on. Here are a few tidbits to mull over while you nurse your hangover in between holiday parties.

  • Say hello to ZANO, the nano drone that captures all of life’s inane moments without you having to lift a finger. Now you can direct and star in all of your amateur home videos.
  • Meet ALEX, the easy-to-clean reusable water bottle. Now you have no excuse to contribute to the Great Pacific garbage patch.

    Hans, Pixabay
    Hans, Pixabay
  • Apparently, earth’s resident genius just discovered Terminator; Stephen Hawking is now warning against the development of A.I., which he hypothesizes could harken the end of humanity. Is Orion taking passengers yet? Sign me up!
  • Rejoice ye luddites! We may be getting dumber, but at least print isn’t dead…yet. Celebrity tabloids and fashion magazines saw audience increases over the past year.
  • Finally, just in case you were too busy posting the perfect selfie to notice, the United States Supreme Court is hearing a case that will determine whether violent rants on social media should be considered criminal threats…or are they just odes to Eminem?

For more B&O insightful goofiness follow us on Twitter at @BlancandOtus

Wait! What? 10/10: A week in wellness and tech convenience

Credit: Sensoria Fitness
Credit: Sensoria Fitness

This week we bring you the latest and greatest in “wellness” news (yes, we consider maximizing your Netflix experience as a means of enhancing your wellbeing):

  • Forget shelling out for a personal trainer. Now your socks can monitor you while you run, fix poor form, whisper words of encouragement and ensure you have the most effective workout of your life…but can they get you off the couch?
  • And speaking of fitness, SmartMat, a yoga mat that instructs while you pose, can help transform you into a bona fide yogi. However, it’s still in the crowd funding stages so you’ll need to invest at least $247!
  • Tired of waiting in line for your post-workout caffeine jolt? Well, now there’s Square Order. Pre-order your coffee so it’s hot when you arrive – quite the perk for busy PR folks.
  • Have we just been Punk’d? Nope, our favorite prankster Ashton Kutcher has teamed up with Lenovo to bring you an interactive tablet complete with a built-in projector to perfect your Netflix binging experience.
  • And finally, contrary to popular belief, San Francisco is the second best city for commuting on public transit. Cheers to Bart, Muni, Caltrain!

Got any new lifestyle hacks we missed? Tweet us @BlancandOtus or leave a comment below.

Wait! What? 9/12: Apple announces Apple Watch, Twitter tests a “buy button” and…squishy robots?

Credit: Ricardo Liberato
Credit: Ricardo Liberato

The tech community was very busy this week, what with waiting on Apple announcements and changing their Gmail passwords. Meanwhile, couch potatoes everywhere rejoiced, as mindless afternoon sofa lazing is due to get easier with Netflix/Chromecast compatibility. Grab your favorite sweatpants and treat yourself to the week’s best tech stories:

There you have it! You are ready for the weekend. Check back in next week when we fill you in on the latest and greatest in tech news that’ll make you say, “Wait! What?”

Wait! What? 8/15: Looks like the A.I. takeover has begun…hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your pillow?

Meet Botlr. The robot butler. (Credit: Aloft Hotels)
Meet Botlr. The robot butler. (Credit: Aloft Hotels)

From Google-hating sharks to Tom Hanks’ foray into the world of apps, the techie (and PRie?) news this week is sure to blow your socks off:

  • Soon Botlr and friends will greet you at the hotel entrance, check you in and deliver you room service.  Better pop a sleeping pill or risk terrifying dreams of a robot revolt.
  • #SharkWeek should probably cover some not-so-fishy stories, like Google- eating sharks. Apparently, deep-sea fiber optic cables are quite a tasty snack.
  •  A typewriter app now exists…because keyboard clicking wasn’t annoying enough. Thank you, Tom Hanks – Wilson does not approve.
  • Some major tech celebs have been jumping on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge bandwagon. Here’s to hoping they also donated to the cause.
  • Looking for a new fitness tracker? Here is an all-encompassing guide to the best and the worst. According to The Verge, FitBit products can range from amazing to “meh.”

That’s all for this week, folks. But feel free to send other cool stories our way @BlancandOtus or in the comments!