Wait! What? 6/5: Swipe right for funding; Google’s magical ocean view

Thinkstock Photos
Thinkstock Photos

While you were busy gawking at #CaitlynJenner’s new following (2.3 million fans on Twitter — more than Obama), we were catching up on some crazy tech news you might have missed. Here it is:

  • Be prepared for excessive temptation to kick in: Instagram just launched a Shop Now button, allowing users to shop outside the app with a click. All of those #filtered photographs just got so much more enticing.
  • Ever wondered what lies in the deep, dark depths of the ocean? Thanks to Google Maps Street View Oceans, you can now see spinner dolphins, humpback whales, giant turtles… and gain access to 70% of the untapped territory on our planet.
  • Better Re: The solution to all panic caused by dead or dying phones. Just pop an old battery inside Better Re and it becomes a portable charger for anything that uses a USB cable.
  • Swipe right for…potential equity crowdfunding investment opportunities? Unusual matchmaking app Tendr launched in the U.K. on Wednesday. It allows investors to “star” investment opportunities, promising to remove friction and thereby increase efficiency in deal sourcing.
  • Finally, meet Huggable, the robotic teddy bear. He’s a high-tech puppet that lives in pediatric hospitals to help alleviate anxiety, pain and isolation. He can even talk and play with patients with the aid of a remote operator. Touching, but also further evidence robots will be taking over in the near future.

And that concludes this week’s news bites. Go out and celebrate the first weekend of June with some time on the beach. Or at least enjoy the ocean through the lens of Google Street View. See you next Friday!

Wait! What? 6/6: Netflix and Verizon do battle, Uber is apparently worth zillions

Credit: Tinder, Inc.
Credit: Tinder, Inc.

While you were busy checking out the features you’ll never use on iOS 8 and realizing an Apple a day no longer keeps the doctor away, other tech happenings were underway. Some you may have missed:

  • Social apps find new ways to make you less social keep you glued to your phone longer: Instagram introduces more editing features, because asking your friends if Valencia or Amaro will get you more likes just wasn’t enough, while Tinder has a moment.
  • Wait, what? $17 billion edition: Uber gets $1.2 thousand million in funding at a massive valuation to continue its march towards ending car ownership, and killing cabs.
  • The road to solar is…the solar-powered road?: If crowdfunding success is any indication, solar roadways conceived by a badass couple from Idaho (yes, looking at you Silicon Valley selfie app company) might reinvent the future of energy.
  • The net neutrality awkwardness between ISPs and content providers gets awkward-er: Netflix and Verizon fire shots at each other as the Orange is the New Black creator blames the Can You Hear Me Now? creator for slow playback.

What piqued your interest this week? Connect with us @BlancandOtus or drop a line below.